Runner Safety

How to Stay Safe on the Run

With numerous parks, including the 843 acres of Central Park, New York can be a great place to run. But no matter where you run in NYC—or anywhere, for that matter—it’s vital to put your safety first. Here are steps you can take to keep yourself safe:

Stay in Populated and Lighted Areas: If you must run before sunrise or after sunset, stick to well-lit sidewalks, streets, or park roads and pathways with plenty of foot traffic. Use a light or wear reflective or light clothing at night, even in lighted areas.

Run with Others: Find a friend, or join a local running club.

Alter Your Plans: Life happens—we get stuck at work, a running partner bails. Change plans to avoid running alone and/or after dark: Go to a health club, find a local meet-up group, postpone your run till morning. During your run, alter your route if you feel unsafe.  

Don’t Wear Headphones/Earbuds: Listening to music or talk can distract you from possible dangers and make you a target of theft.  If you run with a phone, keep it concealed.

On Roads, Run Against Traffic: This will allow cars to see you and you to see them. In parks, run in the recreation lanes that are farthest from traffic.

Know How to Get Help: Learn the locations of emergency call boxes in your parks. Central Park locations can be found here.

Carry ID and a MetroCard or Cab Fare.  

Don’t Respond to Verbal Harassment: Any acknowledgment can be taken as an invitation to escalate confrontation.

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