The world’s a scary place for night runners, but because it’s cool and work schedules can leave little time to stay fit when the sun’s out, you wouldn’t be the first runner to consider adopting a feisty attack dog as your running companion.
Fortunately, safety gear manufacturers are busily researching and making products that keep runners safe so they don’t have to hide out at home just because it’s dark outside.
Put any of new products designed for night owls on your shopping list and even moonless nights won’t stop you from enjoying your favourite sport.
Should You Worry?
Singapore makes no secret of its crime rate: according to multiple websites monitoring crime, Singapore has some of the lowest crime rates on the planet. While there’s been an upswing of Internet cybercrime—and terrorism remains a threat—it’s reassuring to know that Singapore’s crime rate increased by only 4-percent between 2015 and 2016.
But knowledge is power and precautions are your best insurance against being a crime statistic in a nation that takes particular pride in its well-lit parks.
Kartini Omar, director of the National Parks Board, makes sure park lights go on at 7 p.m. and off at 7 a.m. the next morning. Veteran fitness buffs appreciate his fastidious work, as do newcomers to the sport, so you don’t have to worry nearly as much as you would if you lived elsewhere.
We Are a Safe Nation
Numbeo.com collects international crime rate statistics and you’re going to have to do a lot of scrolling on the website to find Singapore’s recently-published, 2016 mid-year rankings. To see how safe our nation is, compare #1 Venezuela’s safety rating at 15-percent to Singapore’s 83.51-percent.
Despite living in an exceptionally safe country, it’s incumbent upon you to take your own safety precautions. Stick to well-lit areas when you take nocturnal runs. Resist the impulse to jog into deserted, secluded and menacingly dark areas.
Importantly, stay alert and attentive to surroundings at all times. And no playing hero, please. Think you’re being followed? That’s why God invented smartphones!
Clever Night Run Safety Products
The following new safety-minded products have recently debuted or are about to do so. Perhaps you’ll find one or more that you can’t live without on our Top 10 list.
1. LumaGlo Beacon
Turn into a jogging Christmas tree by donning this Bluetooth-controlled LED lighting system that invites you to choose between 16 million colours. You’ll be seen from blocks away, so drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are sure to avoid you like the plague. Kickstarter-funded inventors call the Beacon “the only product invented that integrates safety with wearable technology.” You’ll call it your nighttime celebration.
Sassy startup Limenus is a new product that wants you to stay safe at night donning any of the four products being developed: two jackets, a vest and a backpack, all featuring integrated LED lights splashed across these garments. By day, these fashionable products look like regular duds. At night, wearers literally light themselves up for safety while they access other smart features.
3. Knuckle Lights
Knuckle Lights are clever illuminators that put the power of the night into your hands. Ditch the uncomfortable, annoying gear you bought but never use: headbands, flashlights and reflectors that don’t always do a great job of showing motorists you’re in their path. Knuckle Lights light up in the harshest conditions, so channel Rocky when you let your knuckles light the way.
4. Night Runner 270
Discover the Night Runner 270 safety light developed by athletes rather than people sitting at computers. This hands-free light featuring a bi-lateral wing solution that scans a wider path (up to 30 meters) only weighs 1.5 ounces and stands up to everything nature throws your way. Four-to-8 hours of battery life won’t let you down. Just clip these to your shoelaces and conquer the world.
Acquire a Tracer360 vest and motorists would have to be blind not to see you on the darkest road. The vest is made of 3M reflective material. It’s so lightweight, give your heavy vest away and instead, run in one that’s light as a feather year round. State-of-the-art LED and fibre optic technology power this light and add to your sense of safety and wellbeing at night.
Pick your favourite safety color (blue, red, pink or green) when you buy ShoeLit lace attachments. These clip-held beacons last 24 hours before the lithium battery needs replacing. Powerful and so light, runners admit to checking their shoes to make sure they haven’t “run off,” these are favourites among kids who adore the flash that calls attention to them on the darkest night or in the rain.
7. NATHAN BlackLight
The Blacklight collection from Nathan’s Sports is comprised of reflective gear that could ease your night run anxieties. Safety items in this library remind us of Ninja warriors, and the collection slogan backs up our first impression: “Stealth by day, reflective by night. For the athlete who wants to go unnoticed…until it counts.” See what we mean?
8. Petzl Classic Headlamps
Visit the Petzl website and tap the “How do I choose?” button to decide which of the brand’s Classic Headlamps suits you best. Pick your product by size, burn time, power or price. Go about whatever you want to do (in your case, run hands-free) simply by situating the band around your forehead and follow the beam to the end of your trail or wherever your feet take you.
9. FlipBelt Reflective PT belt
If you sweat and can’t abide wearing anything around your waist, the FlipBelt Reflective PT belt might change your mind. Many PT belts can be uncomfortable and slow a runner down, but FlipBelt engineers have addressed these issues successfully. Rather than “one size fits all” these belts come in sizes for a tailored fit. Made of stretch-friendly, moisture-wicking, lightweight reflective material, this running belt even offers you a pocket to stow run necessities.
10. Panther Vision Powercap
Fancy yourself a night prowler extraordinaire? The Panther Vision Powercap may look like an ordinary ball cap, but peek beneath the brim to find LED lights. Turn your head and the illumination follows your glance. This company has delivered quality night vision products for years so you can count on innovation, safety and style.
Are you planning to do the PUMA Night Run—the Singapore event where luminous lighting is the star of the show?
Will you allow event organizers light up your night or will you be wearing reflective gear to make a statement that’s all your own?