Safe Running (Mustering)

It is very good to see so many new members attending the Club runs and I think that a few words about Club rules on the run might be timely. I want all members to read these notes, not just our new friends, because from what I have seen recently, many memories need refreshing!

When running on the roads (rather than across the countryside), we normally use the pavement, When there is no pavement, we normally run on the right-hand side of the road, except when it is considered to be less safe of when “mustering” (see below).

The person who has planned the route is the leader of the run and he or she is in charge. Only the Captain (or Vice-Captain) has the authority to over-rule the leader.

The leader of the run will tell the front runners where the next muster point is and when it is reached each runner will turn and run back till they meet the slowest runner. Not just the faster runners but each runner except the last person.

If we are running on the roads we muster without crossing sides, keeping well in to the left in single file. The runners who are being mustered for, should move away from the hedge to let the mustering runners come past on the inside. There are safety reasons for this manoeuvre, so please observe it.

On winter/dark evenings, we try to stay on pavements but these can be narrow. When approaching a mustering point, run in single file and allow room for returning runners to come past.  Give consideration and space to other pedestrians – a colony of bats approaching from behind could be intimidating for some, so try and pass on one side and with a warning shout.

There is usually a back marker with a flashing light.  All runners must wear high visibility or fluorescent tops for their own safety and to alert pedestrians and road users.

If we are running cross-country it is best to muster after climbing a stile rather than before. This saves a queue and is sometimes safer, e.g. at the top of Bury Bank.

There is no need to muster back further than the slowest runner and it is best to turn just in front of them, especially on the dark winter runs or on cross-country runs where people get spaced out and visibility is shortened by bushes etc. Sometimes runners wanting extra mileage will continue running back behind the last runner, but for ordinary mortals it is safer to muster as described or you may get left behind and lose sight of the group.

Consideration should be given by the run leader to the distance between musters, especially on longer Sunday runs.  Members may find themselves at a track junction in unfamiliar countryside, with no other runner in sight and forced to guess which direction to continue running in.

MP3 players or portable audio devices (iPod or similar) are not to be worn on any Club run.  The wearer does not hear instructions from the run leader or other runners, and is less aware of traffic, etc. around him or her.

If you are too weary to continue the run to the next official cut-off, you must let the leader or the Captain know. It is not enough to whisper something to a friend. It is very worrying for the leader to find that he has mislaid one or two runners. The stronger members have wasted a lot of time in the past running back to muster for people who have given up the run and gone home.

Finally, the above guidelines are an attempt to keep yourselves and others safe when we are out on a Club run. There will be situations when the above guidelines are not adhered to, e.g. when running round a blind right hand bend. The run leader will determine the safest course of action and advise the other runners accordingly, but it is you who is ultimately responsibility for your own safety.

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