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Safety Guidelines for Runners


First and foremost, we want all our members enjoy running with Purbeck Runners. No one particularly likes rules and regulations but, for everyone’s safety and wellbeing, we would like you to take the time to read these guidelines. Remember, as a Club, we are all responsible for each other’s safety and by following these guidelines we can go a long way to prevent things going wrong.

Before A Run
Please ensure that you:

1. Arrive in plenty time for the run. This will ensure you are able to find a suitable group to run with and have plenty of time to warm up prior to your run. If you have not run before with Purbeck Runners before it is essential that you arrive by 7pm if on a Wednesday evening.

2. Are physically fit to participate in the Club activity. Should you feel unwell or be injured please check with your GP before taking part especially if are returning to running after an injury, childbirth or have had a long break from running.

3. Let the group leader know of any possible difficulties or problems before setting off: Take your ‘reliever inhaler’ with you if you are asthmatic or any other emergency medication you may require.

4. Wear suitable clothing and the correct footwear for your run. Particularly in winter, please remember you may have to stop to re-group and may get cold.

5. On dark, evening runs please wear some form of High Visibility/Fluorescent clothing.

6. Take adequate amounts of fluids leading up to a run. If the run is over 30 minutes it is sensible to carry a running bottle to replace lost fluids. This is especially important in the summer months.

7. Choose a group that suits your running ability. See the Club Coach for help/advice with this. When choosing your group consider carefully both the pace of the group and the distance they will be running. This will ensure that you and your fellow group members get the best possible run. Please be realistic when selecting a group and remember you will be expected to stay with the group for the entire distance of the run. If you have any queries please ask one of the Group Leaders at the start of the session.

8. Warm up at the start of the run to prevent injuries. A massed warm up is usually available and you are strongly encouraged to join in with this when available. Each group will run slower than their target pace for the first five to ten minutes of the run.

During your Run
The Club encourages group running and does not endorse individual runners being left behind. The group should always run at the pace of the slowest runner and should not try to increase that pace through running ahead or placing pressure on an individual runner. Looping back systems are encouraged to allow the group leader to ensure a mixed ability group of runners stay together. If for any reason you need to leave the group or end your run early, please ensure that you inform the group leader first so that a search party is not sent out for you!

Please ensure that you:

1. Consider the abilities of other people in your group: don’t push the pace of that group beyond the maximum pace advertised.

2. Be aware of potential hazards: cars; dogs; horses and stay alert of other road/trail users.

3. Maintain a complete chain of communication between the last runner and the first runner throughout the run.

4. Maintain visual contact with the runner immediately behind you and in front of you. Should you lose visual contact communicate this immediately along the chain to ensure that the whole group stops in order to re-group.

5. Report any injury or feeling of being unwell to a fellow runner. They should then pass it along the chain to the group leader. If someone is injured or unwell it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they receive prompt help and support from other members of the group.

6. Shout out oncoming obstacles, obstructions or dangerous situations. If you have to run out of the way of a hole, branch etc., or a car is approaching, shout out a warning.

7. Carry some form of identification e.g. your name on a running bottle; belt, shoelace or ID band. Guest runners should complete a Guest Members Information Form and this must be given to the Group Leader before the run.

8. Run on public footpaths; pavements and over areas that are open to the public (unless you have prior permission to do otherwise).

9. If you have to run in the road try to keep to the right hand side unless it is safer to run on the left (for example on a bend in the road) Keep to single file or 2 abreast and always look out for your own safety as well as your fellow runners. At night the lead runner and back marker must be wearing reflective, fluorescent clothing.

10. Re-group at regular intervals: this allows runners to catch their breath, report any issues they may have and stops the group from spreading out too much.

End of your Run

Please ensure you:

1. Cool down and stretch – one of the easiest ways to avoid injury is to stretch after your run and the best way to do this is as a group!

Accidents and Incidents

In the event of an accident, incident or near miss on a club run or training session it is essential that this is properly reported using the England Athletics online form and the following club rules:

1. The Group Leader for the run or training session is responsible for completing and submitting the accident/incident form as set out below.

2. The England Athletics online reporting does not facilitate keeping a record for the club, so the Group Leader should start by completing the accident/incident form available here and provide a copy to the Club Secretary. It is helpful to fill out this form first so as to gather together all the facts and information to facilitate completing the EA online form.

3. The Group Leader must then complete and submit the England Athletics online report which can be accessed from this link.

4. The Club Secretary should ensure that the Committee have been notified about the accident/incident.


Purbeck Runners Committee