Road Running in the Dark – Safety Rules and Advice

These guidelines have been developed as the club has become larger and more groups are running around Dursley and its environs. Not only do we want our runners to be safe but we want the community to recognise that Dursley Running Club members are responsible and considerate, and such behaviours will promote a good image for the club.

All runners

1.    Must wear hi-vis top for DRC winter evening club runs and other road based sessions.

2.    Must be responsible for own safety when crossing road or junctions and rely on their own judgment as to whether it is safe to cross or not

3.    Should run on pavements were available and safe to do so e.g. overhanging vegetation may prevent this.

4.    Should run on the same side of the road as the Front Runner.

5.    Should run in single file, unless it is clear there is no risk from other road users.  (i.e. road is fairly straight and clear of traffic.

6.    Should run within the group pace guidelines.

7.    Should not run with ear/head phones.

8.    Are recommended to use handheld or head torch but don’t dazzle other road users by pointing straight at drivers/riders.

9.    Should be aware of other pavement and road users and be considerate to their needs, in particular pay attention at junctions and when crossing roads.

10.Let the run leader know, if they are going to cut the run short or leave the group.

     Front Runner

The runner leading at the front of the group,  the ‘front runner’ is likely to change as the run progresses.

1.    Responsible for deciding the safest side of the road to run on.  This will normally be on a pavement (assuming it reasonably hazard free) or facing oncoming traffic (right-hand side of the road) unless approaching a blind bend.   Try to avoid crossing the road too often.

2.    Don’t run too fast, such that it results in the following runners being a significant distance behind.

3.    Stop at the ‘regrouping location’ specified by the ‘run leader’.


1.    Stay at the back, only overtake to let other runners know of a problem with a fellow runner.  

2.    MUST be wearing hi-viz (red armbands may also available at clubhouse)

Run Leader

1.    Check all runners are fit and prepared for session

2.    Responsible for deciding which route to run, only run on unlit roads if at least 50% of runners have torches. (Best to run into the wind on the way out!)

3.    Take extra care when near freezing, black ice can be present, avoid steep roads and those prone to dampness or surface water. 

4.    If running away from houses, check someone in group has a working mobile phone. If not risk assess route and stopping points.

5.    Make sure runners are aware of the route/ distance. 

6.    Welcome new members to the group and make sure they are OK with the planned distance/pace.

7.    Remind runners of their responsibilities.

8.    Specify next regroup point at distance such that group does not get too spread out.

9.    Prior to starting each section of a run allocate a sweeper and ensure he/she is aware of the need to stay at the back, try to rota role unless someone wants/likes to stay at the back. 

10.Don’t start a section of a run until the sweeper is present and clear that all runners are ready to go!

Advice for all runners

·      Check the route programmes listed on the Club’s facebook page pinned post or get to club early and find out what runs are taking place, announcements include group leads.

·      If returning from injury or illness move down from normal group, make a graded return, let run leader know your status, and run to the pace of the group.

·      Wear breathable layers (not cotton) to stay warm, consider a water proof if it likely to rain/snow/hail! Try not to overdress.

·      Gloves and hat will help keep warm and easy to remove if you get too warm

·      Make sure you are well hydrated prior to the run.

·      Watch out for pot holes and other potential hazards .e.g. overhanging brambles.

·      Take extra care when near freezing, back ice can be present, avoid steep roads and those prone to dampness or surface water. 

Please remember that these rules are to ensure we are all safe and that we promote a positive image of runners, running an activity and Dursley Running Club, and finally that you enjoy your club runs!