Last weekend my girlfriend and I were having a little planning session dubbed the "plan-a-thon" at a Borders Bookstore. We successfully researched and booked airfare to Seattle along with hotel accommodations for the Muddy Buddy Race in Orlando. We were rocking two laptops and jolting from caffeine when a friend joined us for a bit. During the conversation the friend checked her email on an iPhone and saw an alert that a local runner was reported missing. Apparently the runner was last seen running near the Veterinarian College at the University of Florida. Both my girlfriend and her friend frequently go for runs in that area. I'm not sure if they've found the missing runner or not, but the eye opener for me was this missing runner was a male, not a female. He was young and in good shape.
I never give a second thought about taking off on a solo run, not telling a soul where I'm headed and cranking up the volume on my iPod. These are three things that I'm betting most females would definitely think twice before doing. Since I'm a rather large man, or at least tall, I think I tend to feel immune to stories like the missing runner in Gainesville. The more I think about it the more stupid I realize I am.
I have no Road ID.
Often times I run at night.
I do not carry any money nor identification.
Analyzing this scares the sh*t out of me. Yesterday I decided to go for a short 3-mile run. I took a business card (has my office contact information, name & website) and wrote on it a local family member, their number and "emergency contact" next to it. Then I wrote in all capital letters "NEVER GIVE UP." The business card fits perfectly inside my iPod arm case. Waaalaa.... my very own free Road ID.
My girlfriend tells me that when ever she goes from a run she leaves the MapMyRun.com route open on her computer. Now that's smart. If she went missing we would know the route to start searching. Today, before I ran, I opened up MapMyRun.com and left the route open on the screen.
It was a good run, despite still having a slight sinus infection, and knowing I've taken added safety precautions is added peace of mind. Think before you run!