If you’ve ever enjoyed hitting the streets sans sun, then you too, know the thrill of the darkness. And, well, even if you’re not a night runner, you likely are for a few months out of the year when Old Man Winter settles in and the days are dramatically shorter. (Oh bah humbug, these days are on their way!)
And while we’ve certainly established that yes, it is thrilling to dart around like a ninja in the night, purposefully hiding yourself from the world by dressing in dark, non-reflective clothing for example, is really the last thing you should be doing.
Our experienced athletes agree. All of them stress the use of reflective gear and lighting gear for every run after sundown (this applies to the those of you that run before sunup, too!).
“Run with reflective gear and use a flashlight, headlamp or LED lights on both your front and back,” chime in Nathan ultrarunners Emily Harrison and Ian Torrence.
Nathan triathlete Max Fennell also makes visibility a big priority. “I like to run with Nathan's neon green Strobe light. Early morning, a commuter is used to seeing a typical red blinking light; the green strobe light changes it up a bit making me a little bit more noticeable.”
And, finally, Mike Wardian, another Nathan ultrarunner, who puts in a lot of miles in the busy city of Washington D.C., says, “I try to make sure I wear something with reflective strips or have a reflective handheld, hydration pack, vest, light, shoes, etc. This helps to draw attention to me. If I’m in doubt, I’ll wait before putting myself in harms way.”
OK, even after reading serial quotes from Nathan elite athletes, I understand that you may still think reflective clothing is uncool even if you are at least convinced that it’s necessary. We’re not just saying that to sell products. During the daytime, drivers may be preoccupied with gadgets like cell phones for example. Add in the complicating factor of darkness without proper reflective and lighting gear, and voila, you’ve landed in a very dangerous situation.
So, please, pay attention this fall and winter, and don some reflective and lighting gear to guide your way through the dark city streets. We promise it won’t make you any less special-agent.