Dear Car Driver

Dear Car Driver,

I imagine that unless you’re a runner, it is quite difficult for you to understand what it’s like run on the open road – It is a vulnerable place, trotting along a road while vehicles that outweigh you by several tonnes whizz by, with limited or no escape routes.  I know, you the driver, likely don’t hold my safety in the same esteem that I do. But you rather, in all likelihood, consider  your Instagram, twitter and Facebook  feed to be of equal or higher priority to the task at hand, which in this case hopefully involves not hitting me.

When I run on the roads, I use the roads under the same rules that you follow. I do this because, not only is it the law, but it makes it easier for you to know what I am chicken pedestriandoing if we both follow the same rules. We coexist in a fragile ecosystem, which can collapse if we both insist we have the right-of-way. Rage and hostility are counterproductive and only serve to endanger and agitate everyone. Yes I run on the road, not in the ditch or the gutter, because it is easier for vehicles like yours to see me. You should see me in time to slow down and pass me ………. yes you may need to slow down and even stop before passing me. The speed limit is not a guarantee or a target. It is a highest speed you are allowed to travel at, there is no promise that you will always be able to go the limit.

I am a runner and I am a driver. So, I am not hostile towards car, and I don’t feel you, as a driver, have any real hatred for me as I jog along. I think the problem with your driving is one of ignorance and not malice. The good thing about your ignorance is that it is curable through education, assuming you are willing. When you see me running on the road, consider how close you are to me when passing and what could happen if I fell or stumbled, would you be able to avoid me? Is there enough room? If you see other runners doing something that irritates you – weaving in and out of traffic or parked cars, or breaking through traffic lights, please don’t assume that I do those things. I don’t. I can’t control how other runners actions, I only have power over what I do. I have a right to use the road and you have a duty to yield the right of way when appropriate. I am not impeding traffic, I AM traffic.

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I qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. Since graduating I have worked in St. James Hospital Dublin and have worked in all the areas of speciality within the hospital including cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, rheumatology, care of the elderly, neurology, burns and plastic surgery among others . I have also completed a post graduate certificate in acupuncture in UCD 2009. The Physiotherapy Department in SJH has strong links with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students on practice placements and also delivered lectures on the undergraduate academic programme in TCD. I have a keen interest in all sports and currently plays with Cill Dara RFC 1st team squad, and Milltown GAA. I have previously worked as Physiotherapist to Co. Carlow Senior GAA Team, Milltown GAA, Leinster Junior Rugby Team and Cill Dara RFC. I am an experienced runner and competed in the Dublin City Marathon in 2002. I continue to participate in running events and multisport disciplines such as Gaelforce West, Gaelforce North and the Motivate Challenge. I have a particular interest in strength and conditioning. I utilise this knowledge of resistance training in the treatment of his clients. I am committed to continuous learning and development in order to ensure the optimal level of care is offered to my clients, and with this in mind I am currently undertaking a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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