Where to run when it’s dark?

Where to run when it's dark?

Those who travel on foot are often not the first to be thought of when it comes to traffic and mobility. How safe do runners feel at dusk or in the dark, where are their favorite routes?? That’s what we wanted to find out more about at the end of this theme week.

Ralph Kroder from Mistelfeld is one of the runners we spoke to. Our encounter comes about by chance, as he is pursuing his sport on the bike path in front of the town – in broad daylight. But he can’t always make it either. The demand for more illuminated paths does not cross Kroder’s lips, however. This is, after all, not least a cost factor, and one has to ask how many benefit from it. He does not want to be selfish, he notes. “We all have a headlamp!” Many run with it at late hour even by the forest, as he knows.

Also in the Weismainer city area much and gladly one runs, we experience from Manuela Trebeck. She is an exercise instructor at the local gymnastics club and herself a passionate runner. The Baiersdorfer and Geutenreuther forests are popular, she says. But they themselves are definitely not attracted to the forest in the dark, and this has less to do with possible root traps than with a feeling of unease. “Alone and in winter I look for busier streets”, she says. She usually runs together with a friend, four or five times a week. Some sections of their usual six- to eight-kilometer loop are too dark for them, even with a headlamp in winter. Then they look for alternatives through residential areas. An illuminated path “would be cool,” she says, Trebeck finds. But also expensive. Remains still the desire for a Trimm-Dich path as Kulmbach has one. Without lighting, but with beautiful routes and stations.

In fact, some cycle paths and footpaths in the district of Lichtenfels are illuminated. In the municipality of Michelau, where long-time runner Kurt Herbicht is at home, one has a choice. “There are enough routes where you can still jog even if you’re on shift”, he emphasizes. For example on the cycle path to Schney and then in the direction of Oberwallenstadt. “The new LED lights are not super bright, but you can see the way.” Ideal, therefore, for safer steps. To illuminate the whole landscape, is not desired finally. There were corresponding objections when the local council voted on the illumination of the path between Schwurbitz and Michelau. A two-thirds majority prevailed and accepted the considerable costs. Around 38,000 euros had to be raised for the lamps. The value of the work done by the construction crew during the excavation work was almost as much again. For the annual maintenance a good 2000 euros are estimated. The effort seemed justified to the supporters seven years ago now: The path from and to the Rudufersee is popular and is used by walkers and cyclists with pleasure. The illumination of the path in the direction of Schney was only tackled last year. Here, the city of Lichtenfels assumed half of the costs.

Jurgen Steinmetz, chairman of the ASC Burgberg, knows “many beautiful routes”, which are suitable for training at night. But being seen is at least as important as seeing well. Think of reflectors at the clothes, is therefore his advice. And generally one should rather run in the group than alone.

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