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Friday, January 16, 2015

Run Safe

Recently there was a press report of a case in 2013 when a lady jogger was attacked and raped by a man while out on a night run. I think a lot of people were shocked. Surely Singapore is the safest of all place? But like the police slogan, low crime doesn't mean no crime and this is not the first time a lady has been attacked while out running. In 2000, a lady was attacked and rape while running in Bukit Batok Park. She died a few days later from her injury. And for those who thought MacRitchie Reservoir is safe, in 2003, a lady was sexually assaulted while running there.

Singapore is generally a safe place to move around but like in any other countries, there will be sickos around. Here are some unsolicited advices:

1) Don't run at night. The best time to run is early in the morning but I know it is easier to sleep late than wake up early. And with everybody's busy schedule, sometimes the only time available to run is in the night. So if you must run at run, try to run earlier and end by 8 pm rather than start after 9. But if you really cannot avoid running later in the night:

2) Get someone to run with you. The hubby, the boyfriend or girl friend, neighbour or even a child. There safety in number. But if there is really nobody to run with you:

3) Avoid running in dark places. For some reasons known best to Nparks, our parks are not well lit at night. Even places like East Coast Park is poorly lit and the park lights are switched off after a certain time. So if you must run, run along the roads or in brightly lit areas. Or if there is no other option, run only in the brighter areas within the park. Do loops around the brightly lit area rather than run the full distance along the park trail. Some parks with poor lighting to avoid:
 - Area A and area G of East Coast Park
- Pasir Ris Beach Park especially the middle section between Sungei Tampines and Sungei Api Api
- Fort Canning Park. The lighting here is atrocious. Many stretches have no light or they are switched off at random
- Bukit Batok Nature Park - the place with the most incidents
- The Green Corridor. Avoid running alone at all cost and this applies to the guy too!
- West Coast Park
- Garden by the Bay East. The lights here are generally ok but it is too quiet. Keep to the waterfront and not run into the park ground.

4) Wear bright clothing. I am always amazed at the number of people who wear dark apparel to run. Not only does it absorb heat it also attract mosquitoes. And in an incident, it is easier to see something bright moving/struggling than something dark. Beside, other road and park users can see you if you wear brighter clothings and minimize the chance of a collision or being scared out of their wits!

5) Carry a small panic button, the phone and identification. The panic button is useful in situation where you need to attract attention. The phone? To call for help not just for attacks but in case of accidents. And ID - for identification purpose.

This is a rather useful panic button. Can double as a key chain too. You can get this from Sim Lim and other electronic stores or buy online. A panic button is more useful than a whistle as in an emergency, chances are you have no opportunity to blow the whistle


This ID band can be purchased online but you can also make your own ID band like what I did

6) Let someone know. Where you running and what time you be home. This will help if you go missing and people need to search for you. Or if you fail to reach home in the expected time, help can come earlier.

So that about it. Run happy and run safe.

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