Yield to Cars (no matter what)!
As I was running along the Ashley River this beautiful afternoon I was feeling great and thinking about future races, long runs, family and even work. Then, in a split second, my entire life flashed before my eyes.
I was running toward an intersection where there's a marina and gas station (there's a light and a crosswalk as well). The light was red and the "Walk" sign was up with a countdown. A car was pulling out and turning right, I had plenty of room and maintained my pace. The car behind it was sitting still and seemed (to me) to be waiting for me to run by before it to turned right on red.
I picked up my pace and started to head across the crosswalk when I heard the car's engine rev up.
The car had not been waiting for me to cross, the guy driving the BMW was apparently looking down at his cellphone and when he realized the car in front of him had moved he hit the gas pedal without looking.
Looking back it seems like time froze for a second. We both saw each other at the same time. I knew I had the right of way, but I also knew that the car was way more powerful than me! I was able to skid to a quick stop as he flew by me. He looked very apologetic as he drove by and I could tell he was embarrassed.
What he didn't get to see was me bent over about to puke! My heart was pounding like crazy and my stomach was in a knot. I wanted to be angry, but I could tell the guy just made a mistake and he felt bad enough. All I could think about was how lucky I was at that moment.
A quick Google search (runner hit by car) will give you a list of runners in accidents from Miami to Phoenix (elites to young teens). Its a little scary when you read the headlines.
I only stopped for a few seconds before I retuned to my run. I had to come back the same way and this time I came to a complete stop before crossing (car or no car).
In any sport there are dangers. Its just one of those things we have to be aware of as runners.
And after this near accident I am absolutely going to yield to cars no matter what...