Pete Kostelnick is an ultrarunner who, on October 24, 2016, broke the record for the fastest run across the United States. He ran from San Francisco City Hall to New York City Hall – a distance of 3,067 miles – in just 42 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes. In honor of National Running Safety Month, Pete is encouraging runners to light up their run and take the proper safety precautions when headed out on the roads during low light hours.
Guest blog by: Pete Kostelnick
Coming in to my run across America, safety was the item I overlooked the most. With the tens of thousands of cars that passed me over the course of my run and the 100+ hours I ran in the dark, I count my lucky stars that nothing fatal occurred. I can't be thankful enough for the excellent NATHAN Safety & Visibility gear I brought for the run--it literally saved my life!
In particular, wearing a bright reflective vest, red blinking lights (in front and back), and the Halo Fire - a running-specific headlamp - made cars aware of my presence in the dark, low light, and overcast days. And the best part for me was the gear was so lightweight that I sometimes forgot I was wearing it! My most frustrating days were not those where I had mountain passes to climb, but rather high traffic areas. I needed to stay alert, while communicating my presence and making eye contact with any drivers pulling in and out of businesses.
We live in a time where driving or riding in cars has never been safer, but drivers have never been more distracted, with cell phones (at night) or not enough caffeine (in the morning). I've heard of too many bicycling and running accidents lately, when one is already too many. Safety is something we often overlook on the roads, but I beg every runner to be as prepared as possible--especially when there doesn't seem to be any sunlight left in the morning or night at this time of year! Be safe and have fun out there!