Something Wicked This Way Comes – A Runner? At This Hour?

The other night I offered to be my friend’s designated driver while they enjoyed the bars (and I miserably went to bed since I had to work the next morning.) My friends called me around 1:30 a.m. to pick them up, so deliriously I drug myself out of bed to be an ever-so-dedicated friend. On my way to downtown Kent I saw two runners. What the —

1:30 a.m.?! These people suddenly had the urge to go running right then and there? They couldn’t wait a few hours until morning or have gone earlier? Now I’m a 21-year-old college student, 1:30 a.m. on a school night – normal. 1:30 a.m.  at the bar – regular. But to go running then?

Now I’ve done my fair share of night running lately. Working two jobs this summer, it seems to be the only time on some days that I can fit in a run. Especially with how hot it has been. I have to leave my apartment by 8:15 every morning and I’m not about to get up at 6 a.m. to go. Plus by the time I get back from the office at 6 p.m. it’s still 93 degrees out, so I’d wait until 8 or 9 at night to go. I can justify this.

But 1:30 in the morning?!

You have to wonder did something really tragic happen to these runners that they suddenly felt so distraught that they suddenly HAD to get out of the house and go running?

Who knows. But I did take note on what the runners were wearing – one in neon yellow and one in white. A wise choice for running in the dark. Neither runner had on any sort of reflectors though, which running  at 1:30 in the morning (Especially early Sunday morning when a lot of people/drivers are coming back from the bars) I would recommend wearing some.

These runners remind me of a story my dad told me one time. He’s an aerobics teacher and personal trainer, (along with being a chemist – isn’t he super cool? And no, I did not get any of his smart genes, I hate chemistry) and often heads to the gym at 4:45 a.m. for a 5 a.m. class he teaches. (Seriously, why?) He used to tell me about this lady who he would see running at this time every morning wearing a giant fur parka in the winter.

Now I’m from Chardon, Ohio…the snow-belt of northeast Ohio, and I know how HORRIBLE morning snow storms can get and how horrible the roads are in the morning there. My dad even pointed out the road he would see this lady running down, which has no sidewalks and was poorly lite. But he said every morning this woman was out there running through snowbanks with this giant fur coat on. I got to say props to her, but seriously?

To humor myself I picture her running in a coat like this. (Although this might not be far off from the real deal considering my dad said it WAS a fur parka.)

The Mysterious Fur Parka Runner of Chardon, Ohio

Whoever this abominable parka runner is, kudos to her. Although I would recommend some reflectors. And to the 1:30 a.m. runners – wear some damn reflectors too. Reflectors are not expensive and can save your life. Here are a few starting at $6.99, or pick up some at your local sporting good store.

Some other quick tips for all you night owl runners (or early morning umm…rooster runners? Ya ok, lame.) But here they are:

  • Always run facing traffic when running on the road (or ride with traffic if biking.) 
  • If possible run with someone.
  • Stay in well lit areas.
  • Stay alert.
  • Don’t wear headphones if it is very late out, considering that could be very dangerous depending on your area.

“There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.”   – Nike

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