Run for your life, but don’t get overrun

For road-runners, inattention is fatal: A runner was killed by an SUV (oversized vehicles driven by undersized folk who think they are Indiana Jones) in Las Vegas as he was crossing the street without paying attention. Thomas Woodrow explains:

Dateline: Las Vegas (or AnyTown, USA)
This week, I, along with all other runners in Las Vegas, mourn.

Something has occured that could, and probably has, happened in every community in the world. A runner was killed this week by an SUV. As the news explained it, the runner was not watching where he was going while crossing the street. He was apparently J-walking and running.

How many times must one preach/plead/tirade/beg runners, walkers and bike riders to be on constant guard? We are small and invisible to the average (read: oblivious and unthinking) driver. Most are too busy listening to a motivational tape or talking on their cell phone or eating a Big Mac or fiddling with the radio stations or putting on make-up or.... Need I go on?

Now another member of our fellowship is gone.

I didn’t know him but I do know what kind of person he was. He cared about himself enough to get up off the couch and get outside and get healthy. He also cared enough about his family and community to be the very best person physically that he could possibly be.

I also don't know what he was thinking at the time of the incident but unless the vehicle ran a red light (which it didn't) or went up on the curb (which it didn't) this death probably could have been avoided.

Sure it’s great to be running in a funk and not paying attention to the rest of the world but unless one is running on a jogging path we must be more aware of our surroundings than at any other time. Automobiles (cars, SUVS, pickups, etc.) are extrememly deadly weapons and it is the runners sole responsibility to be on a constant watch.

Yes, running may be our life but unless we put our priorities in order and take the proper resonsibility, it could very well be the reason for our death or injury.

The words our mothers taught us as little children when learning to cross the street by ourselves ring truer than ever before.


March 2002, reprinted with permission from

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Running on the road can be fatal, photo by Francis Chin at Buangkok Green, Singapore