By Mike T.
So what does Aretha Franklin have to do with running? Back in the 80s, there were 4 of us in the Marine Corps that were running 5Ks at around 24 minutes or so. For a bunch of 20 somethings in the military, that was hardly studly, much less competitive. So on a whim, we decided to see how fast we could get, never realizing how much our friendships and lives would be influenced by that decision.
We were all members of 8th and I’s D&B Company at Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. When we told guys from other companies about our goal, we got laughed at and in the usual Marine Corps manner were given a big ration of you know what for our idea.
One of the first times we hit the road towards our goal, one of us started singing Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T and it grew from there. We had none and had to earn it. Farmer, Toeller, Dolan, Blache, and Tatman, otherwise known as Andy, Ricky, Billy, Herbie and Mikey or as The Farmer, Tell, B.D, Fire and Ghost got down to the business at hand. The only one with really running chops was Farmer who had already placed in the top 50 at the Marine Corps marathon. He tried to offer some coaching advice but we mostly ignored it, laughed at him and gave him a big ration of you know what.
So we ran. In sandstorms in Arizona, in a hurricane in the Carolinas, in flood conditions in the Bahamas, doing hillwork in parking garages in the flatlands of Texas, on the beaches in Virginia, the Mall in DC, at 6 in the morning after closing the bars at 2, away from the police when we were caught sunbathing outside the Capital building in speedos and saw our times drop from 24s to 19s to 17s to 16s to 15s and had a great time doing it.
Along the way, “Respect” was still sung but now we had moved on to the line “What you want, baby, I got it.” We were cocky, young, invincible, competitive: everything we loved and everything guys who weren’t in the Marine Corps hated. We found that without really trying we had earned the R-E-S-P-E-C-T from not only the other Marines at 8th & I but from a lot of other people as well.
As near as I know, we all still run. We all remember placing 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 at the Cherry Blossom 2 mile race in DC and running the Stroh’s Run for Liberty after drinking Stroh’s until 2 in the morning the day of the race. Most importantly, we all still R-E-S-P-E-C-T each other. So as Aretha would say “Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me.” Get out there and run.
By Eric M.
Running is one of the healthiest ways to stay in shape or lose a few pounds. It’s also great for cardiovascular health. While it’s always great to run on a designated jogging path, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid traffic and pedestrians on a run, especially if you run into work. Here are some top ways to stay visible on your next run:
1. Wear a Vest You’ll want to wear at least one article of highly visible clothing every time you run alongside traffic. In the daylight, this usually means something florescent, like bright green or yellow clothing.
If you’re running at night, opt for something reflective so you’ll stand out against a car’s headlights. Reflective shoes or tape on your legs is often a good idea because a car’s headlights won’t reach very high on your body from afar. If you’re not in the market for new shoes, simply wearing a reflective and florescent vest will knock out two birds with one stone.
(image found via REI.com)
2. Run Against Traffic It’s common advice to run against traffic. Most claim this will give motorists more time to slow down if they see you, but the real reason you want to run against traffic is it gives you some extra time to duck out of the way if a reckless motorist approaches. A couple of seconds is all you need to get off the road and out of the way if there’s no good shoulder or running trail for you to stay on.
3. Bring a Flashlight Flashlights are great for a few reasons. First, it’s very easy to see from a distance, so it will help everyone else on the road see you approaching. Secondly, uneven and cracked sidewalks are the top reason for injuries among pedestrians. If you can’t see the road you’re running on, you’re in far more danger than running next to a car. If you’d rather keep your hands free while running, you can always opt for the less fashionable (but very effective) headlamp.
4. Follow Traffic Laws If you’re running on the road you should abide by all traffic laws a motorist does, including coming to a complete stop at stop signs. Why is this important? It’ll give you an extra second to see if any cars are approaching, but it will also give motorists more time to see you at an intersection. You’re significantly smaller than cars and subsequent ally harder to see. A motorist rolling through a stop sign may not see any other vehicles, but could accidentally run directly into you instead.
5. Run in a Group! Two runners are always more visible than one. When running in a group you’ll (usually) be given a lot more space than you would alone, so you’re safer than running alone, particularly at night. Running in a group also gives you the added benefits of accountability partners for sticking with your exercise routine. You may even find that you run faster and longer in a group than you would alone!
This article was provided by www.personalinjury-law.com, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local ordinances to ensure you run safe and legally.
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