10 Tips on Running Safe

Tuesday, 10 September 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

By now you’ve heard of the disturbing and saddening murder of Kae Davantes, an account manager at McCann World Philippines who was allegedly kidnapped at Bonifacio Global City and whose body was later discovered in Cavite.  My heart goes out to her family and friends.

The news has shaken most of us who didn’t even know her personally because it hits close to home.  I heard that she studied in my alma mater for Highschool.  She works at an ad agency that many of us are familiar with.  And, scariest of all, she was abducted in an area that many of us frequently visit and run in.

This alerts us all, especially women, to be observant and cautious at all times.

Below are 10 tips on running safe around the metro:

1 – Choose a safe route.  This is common sense.  Choose a course that is secure and safe from bad elements.  You don’t want to be running in an area that is known to have pickpockets or even construction workers making catcalls at you.  You also don’t want to spend the entire time evading cars or buses that may sideswipe you.  I know you want to be adventurous, but there’s a fine line between adventure and suicide.

2 – Run against traffic.  Run on the side of the road against the traffic to ensure drivers see you coming.  This is a basic but I still see runners who run the wrong way.

3 – Be visible.  It’s always safer to run during broad daylight, but some of you have no choice but to run after work.  Make sure to wear bright colored tops.  Even better if you can wear tops with reflective portions to ensure you are visible to oncoming cars. I know New Balance and Nike have these.  You can also purchase reflective vests for even greater visibility.  Mine is from Nike.

– New Balance top. Bright color and has a reflective band on the shoulder –

– Nike reflective vest for night running –

4 – Bring an ID.  Always carry identification with you.  You can carry your ID with you or wear a road ID bracelet on your wrist or on your shoes.  I have two MJ46 iD bands. One conveniently sits on the laces of my shoe and another is a wrist band. These contain my name and husband’s cellphone should there be any emergency.

– MJ46 iD Band –

5 – Leave valuables at home.  Again, common sense.  You don’t need your diamond earrings and gold bracelets during a run unless you’re Lady Gaga.  But then again, if you do wear all your jewelry while running, we might as well call you “gaga.” Heehee.

6 – Run with friends.  It’s best to run with a buddy or a group.  This reduces your chances of being a target for any criminal.  Should you encounter any medical emergency from lightheadedness to  pain in the chest, you also have friends to help.  If this isn’t possible, then at least take your mobile phone with you.

7 – Use your MP3 wisely.  Many of us love our music during our run, but use your ipod and MP3 wisely.  Make sure you hear cars, cyclists, or even “askals” chasing after you.

8 – Carry emergency money with you.  You’ll never know when you may need cash during a run or a race.  I tuck P100 to P200 in a small plastic pouch under my insoles in my shoes whenever I run.  I’ve used this to purchase an emergency bottle of Gatorade when I was dying of thirst at BGC during a training run and also to pay for a taxi when I DNF’d at Rexona Run due to awful blisters.  Hey, don’t laugh, they were painful!  Point is, you’ll never know when you need the money so always bring!

9 – Bring pepper spray.  If you must run alone at night, consider carrying pepper spray in your pocket.  I got mine at R.O.X.

10 – Be smart.  Most of us runners think that we are invincible from injury or harm.  Guess what, we’re not.  Trust your instincts and know when you should quit a run or run in the opposite direction.  Be smart about your running and always take the safer, more conservative route when it comes to your safety.

Run safe, people!


Wednesday, 7 July 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

During last Sunday’s 34th Milo Marathon, a young male runner gunning for his 21km PR, collapsed 1km away from the finish line and was rushed to the hospital.  Sadly, he passed away yesterday.

I haven’t stopped thinking about him since I heard the news.  I’ve collapsed once when I had just started running, and so did my best running buddy, Annie, as she ran so swiftly for a podium finish at Nike Human Race 2008.  Yes, it could’ve been any one of us.

I thought the best way to help in this kind of situation was to try to prevent it from happening again.  I publish race reviews with the sole purpose of guiding organizers how to improve our races, not to rant or complain.  I thought I’d post this today to guide our runners, especially the beginners, on how to run safely in races.

I got in touch with our top experts in the field and asked for their top safety tips when participating in a race.  Read it twice or thrice over.  Run safe, guys and girls!


  1. Coach Rio de la Cruz
  2. Coach Jim Lafferty
  3. Coach Jim Saret
  4. Coach Ani de Leon
  5. Dr. George Canlas


  • COACH RIO: Prepare for the distance you are planning to participate in by training properly.
  • COACH RIO: Before the race, especially when it’s long distance, eat a minimum of 2 hours before the race.
  • DR. CANLAS: Be fit to run and not run to be fit.


  • COACH ANI: Hydrate well, and douse yourself with water at the aid stations. Keep your core temperature as low as you possibly can.
  • COACH JIM L.: Stay hydrated. Not only water but importantly electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade or Powerade. When you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
  • COACH RIO: Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to hydrate. Drink fluids at least every 10 to 15 mins. Better yet, take a few sips at each water station.
  • DR. CANLAS: Have a good hydration plan.


  • COACH ANI: Sleep, sleep, sleep… it has been shown that without enough sleep running races like this is extremely high risk
  • COACH RIO: Make sure you get enough sleep a day or two before the race.


  • COACH ANI: Stay within your zones… do not go beyond your aerobic threshold, especially for longer races.  Manage your efforts well and stay within your capabilities.
  • DR. CANLAS: Know your limits.
  • COACH JIM S.: Avoid the urge to “sprint with the pack” during the start of the race. Stick to your regular or planned pace.


  • COACH JIM L.: Watch out for traffic! This means both other runners, particularly in larger races, and cars/jeepneys in open road races. Always be prudent and stay clear!


  • COACH JIM S.: If you feel some form of pain during your run, slow down and have a feel of how bad it really is. If it seems to be going away, then go ahead and resume your regular pace. However if the pain persists and/or even increases in pain as you continue to run, seriously consider stopping and getting some help. Pain is the body’s way of letting us know something is wrong. No race is worth the risk of hurting yourself by continuing to run and causing a minor injury to turn into a major setback.
  • COACH JIM L.: Be smart. If you’re feeling poorly or sense “something is wrong”, a pain or sensation that’s new to you, TAKE A BREAK. Its not worth the risk and better to run again another day. I’ve seen too many runners trying to “push through” and they either ended up in extended injury, or worse.
  • COACH RIO: If you feel something is wrong, such as difficulty of breathing or pain in the chest, slow down. Stop and look for a medic or ask for help from fellow runners.


  • COACH JIM S.: Decide if you need to see a medical specialist if you feel something “off” with your body.
  • COACH JIM S.: Do not think of lying down immediately after your event. Keep moving.