When I go out on a run I always wear my Road ID on my shoes and now that I have my new iPhone app, I’m as safe and identifiable as I can be, short of running with a body guard or Mace.  When I visit my parents I have beautiful country roads to run on, but I have to share them with cars, trucks, and the occasional loose cow.

If I want to run in the morning, I’ve learned to run around 8:30 or later after people have gone to work.  Traffic is much lighter after that time and the people that are out driving are much less… shall we say, “Speedy.”  The roads are very narrow and there’s a long stretch where I have very little space between the road and a rock face on one side, and the road and the river on the other side.


There’s a narrow grassy shoulder beside the road and then a drop off to the river.


I always run facing traffic except when I come to a blind turn such as this one, because I don’t want to get caught between a speeding car and, ummm, no place to dive for safety.  Since it’s so quiet, I can hear a car approaching from behind and get out of the way.


On my return home I heard a noise in the woods behind this really cool tree as I ran between it and the corn field on the other side of the road…


The noise sounded like either a cow that was hoarse from bawling, or a bear cub looking for its momma.  Since there have been bears spotted in the area, I didn’t risk it, and high-tailed it out of there!  Enter:  fartlek run!


Tips for staying safe when running on narrow country roads:

  1. Run when you think that traffic will be the lightest
  2. Let your family know what route you plan to run, how far you are going, and when you expect to return
  3. Be aware of where you might encounter loose dogs and what your plan will be (I grab a stick if I know that I’m running near an area where dogs will be roaming free and swing it near my ankles to discourage ankle bites)
  4. Run facing traffic whenever possible
  5. Don’t run with earphones
  6. Carry Mace
  7. Be aware of any wild animals that have been seen in the area
  8. Check the weather for storms that might pop up while you’re out

Just because I thought this was really interesting, here’s a close-up of the asphalt road.


  • Questions:
  • Who runs with mace?
  • Have you ever heard something that freaked you out when on a run?
  • What’s the scariest thing you’ve seen on a run?