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Running shorts: efficient and attention-grabbing for safety

If you have seen a male scantily clad in high-split running shorts racing around the streets of Creston, down the trails and along the shoulder of surrounding county roads, chances are pretty high it was me.

While the attire may seem excessive — in a minimal sense — to those of you who are new or have no knowledge of the sport, take a quick glance at any serious runner at the local, college or professional level.

Not a single American running track and field at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, in any of the running events wore shorts hanging below their knees during competition.

Some middle- and long-distance runners are even switching to compression shorts.

Don’t worry Crestonians, I don’t own any compression material, yet.

Wearing running shorts isn’t a fashion statement; it is simply the most effective combination of light, comfortable workout clothing to help runners perform at a high level.

A 16-mile long run is already a physically- and mentally-daunting challenge, but carrying another 1 or 2 pounds of baggy shorts and a cotton T-shirt soaked with sweat is inefficient.

Now, I don’t mind the honks, laughter and quizzical looks that come while I am running. I typically just use it as motivation to run a little faster and continue to make myself a little better.

And if you are going to jeer an attempted insult, be a little more creative than “Run Forrest, run.”

It’s my favorite movie, so it has no effect on my psyche.

I’m hoping that my attire has an additional benefit of keeping bikers, runners and walkers a little safer while sharing the roads.

According to RoadID, an average of 122,000 runners, walkers and cyclists are injured by vehicles every year in the United States.

RoadID is a company that specializes in creating identification for active people to wear in case of an accident. The RoadID is great for runners, hikers, bikers and children who do not carry identification on them during workouts or adventures.

I am not putting the blame solely on drivers, but there is a simple truth to all pedestrian/vehicle accidents — the person inside the vehicle has a significantly higher chance of leaving the accident physically unharmed.

Exercise enthusiasts need to take the lead in practicing proper road-sharing techniques on all roads. Bicyclists should ride with traffic and runners/walkers should move against traffic flow.

When fatigue, enthusiasm or lack of judgment occurs, drivers should be on the lookout for individuals working out and adjust their speed or travel to avoid an incident.

Texting and driving is especially hazardous for anyone sharing the roadway with traffic. According to the Iowa DOT, the average text message takes five seconds to send. At 55 mph, the driver would have his or her eyes off the road for the length of a football field.

It will take a team effort to keep everyone safe and encourage Creston to be fit.

I hope to see some new faces on the roads and trails soon. Happy training.

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