Night runner

From dusk to dawn, here's how to stay visible

Every day during the fall Canadians lose three to ten minutes of daylight, which means as the calendar marches towards winter we run, bike and walk in the dark more and more. Dark streets can be mean, especially if you can't be seen. In recent years a running companies have been promoting safe night running. Last year it was 3M's No White at Night, a campaign showing that white clothing isn't very visible after dark. This year Nathan, a running hydration and accessories company, is stepping up with Run Smart Run Safe. The focus of their four-point education program dovetails with 3M's: Be seen, carry identification, bring a cell phone and make sure someone knows your route.

•    Be seen. Wear reflective. Wearing reflective when out on the roads helps cars, bikes, and other people detect, react, maneuver more quickly and avoid potential disastrous situations.

•    Carry identification. Every second counts in an emergency, and carrying identification can help direct first responders to pertinent information quickly and efficiently.

•    Bring a cell phone. Having a cell phone can be handy to alert the appropriate people in the event of a twisted ankle, an unfamiliar route or a longer-than-expected run.

•    Run with somebody or have someone know your route. Running with someone is best but if you are out there alone, having a spouse, a family member or a friend know the expected route – and approximate beginning and end time – of a run, allow them to react.

There are plenty of products that help achieve those goals. Here are four standouts.

1. Nathan Reflex: These slap bracelets are easily added to any running outfit in any conditions. This is especially helpful for those of us that use our hiking wind jackets and softshells for winter running. The reflective bands loop around ankles, wrists or belts to provide 360-degree visibility from 400 feet away. One size fits all.
Price: $10 a pair

2. Headsweats Dry Visibility Hat: This water resistant baseball-style cap is ideal for above-freezing night runs when the weather is a little wet. The woven cap material shields the worst of the rain, while a reflective strip across the brim and cap keeps you seen. The green colour is not the most stylish, but the white and black are nice.
Price: $24

3. Brooks Silver Bullet Jacket: Just the name makes us feel like we could run faster, outrunning a speeding can of Coors Light! If we did the cars would still be able to see us flying by with 360-degree reflectivity. There's also an ID pocket and waterproof media pocket. An aluminum liner reflects body heat back, making this an extremely lightweight jacket for its warmth. It's also water resistant and windproof.
Price: $150

4. Saucony Razor 2.0: Hate wet feet? These will keep your dogs dry most of the time thanks to a stitchless eVent waterproof upper. Designed for the nasties of winter running — slush, mud, huge puddles and deep snow — the Razor 2.0 is a low-profile, heavily lugged trail shoe completely covered by a zip-up gaiter that will deflect it all. Reflective accents on the ankle high upper kick back whatever light hits your prancing feet.
Price: $135