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Safety tips for running on Connecticut trails

HARTFORD --  Runners who run outdoors face a lot of dangers.

But women who run alone, face even more dangers.

Now with the reality of distracted drivers on the roads, more and more runners are turning to the Connecticut trails to get their exercise. But the seclusion of the trails can be particularly frightening for a woman.

FOX61 caught up with the Connecticut Trail Mixers running club and the Hartford marathon foundation to learn how to stay safe on Connecticut trails.

“I always run with a group, for those women who run by themselves, it’s a good idea to carry pepper spray and make sure family members and friends know where you are headed,” said Wanda Hodsen of the CT Trail Mixers.

Connecticut has great trail runs all over the state and when done safely, it’s what most runners prefer.

Hodsen added,“Trail running is so much more fun than running on the street. There is nothing like soaring over the rocks and the roots and challenging yourself to keep up with your friends. We sometimes have 20-25 people in our group runs and we just take over the woods and it’s just an experience I want everybody to have, and we have a lot of great trails in this state.”

Beth Shluger has been with the Hartford Marathon Foundation for 25 years, as a runner, she knows how women on the trails can stay safe.

“Carry your cell phone with you when you are running on the trails," said Shluger. "Make sure somebody knows where you’ve gone and what time you expect to be back. Don’t run alone, don’t run alone on the roads, but also don’t run alone on the trails. Don’t wear headphones, that goes back to being alert of where you always are.”

Both women said the same thing that any law enforcement officer would tell you, when possible, do not run alone.

Police may suggest these additional safety tips:

  • Run during midday.
  • Carry a whistle.
  • Wear bright colors.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.