Nothing could be more serious than your safety. It’s so important that we have created this separate Odyssey Safety Manifesto to further address safety issues. We do not mean to scare you here, but we do want to get your attention so that you recognize that you need to be careful as you participate in this type of event.
1. The courseWe are proud of this course that takes you on a terrific tour of the Reno-Tahoe region. Along the way you will see many of the attractions that this area has to offer. In laying out the course, I asked the questions: Would I like to run here? Would I be willing to run here? I answered these questions in the affirmative.
There are certain portions of the course where we travel on a highway and where there is not much room on the shoulders for runners to be off the roadway. They are the only way to get from point A to point B with van support. When we use those roads, the traffic typically is light especially during the night hours.
Nevertheless you need to be alert at all times. Not just the runners, but everyone else associated with the team. The others riding along in the vehicle and the driver too. Exercise extreme caution at all times. Be ready to stop running and step as far away off the course as possible if you hear a big truck coming or a lot of other traffic. Stopping for a few moments to make sure you are in a safe spot is the right thing to do. So be alert so that you are in a position that you can do it.
2. We request that each of you be mindful of overall safety. Please be careful while running and traveling the course. Because the roads and paths used for the relay course are NOT closed for the event, every runner and team vehicle driver and team member needs to be alert and exercise caution. Every runner and team vehicle driver and team member must comply with all traffic laws. Runners must follow the directions provided with each leg. Runners must run outside the white lines on the shoulders of the roads. Runners must cross certain roads at designated intersections, complying with the traffic signals, and other locations.
Please note that this is a long distance relay run that will take teams a full day give or take a few hours to complete. So it does not make sense to dash across a busy road and put yourself in a dangerous situation to save a minute or two on your total team time.
Team vehicles Team vehicles should act as an additional safeguard for runners. They can do that in at least two ways. One is to display the “Runners on Road” sign that we provide to you. Place the sign on the back of the vehicle in a conspicuous location. We will provide each team with two signs, one for each vehicle. If you have extra ones, use them. In addition, team vehicles can help manage the speed of the traffic and slow down faster drivers by driving in compliance with the posted speed limits.
For almost the entire course the team vehicle should be close by, for the team vehicle travels the very same steps of the runner. The team vehicle should keep the runner in sight if possible. The team vehicle can be an extra direction sign waiting at or near the turns in the course.
Team vehicles should not cause traffic and safety issues. Team vehicles may not drive next to runners, as this may cause a traffic hazard. Team vehicles must park safely off of the roadways and not block access to other roads or driveways. Team vehicles should not speed along the course endangering other teams’ runners. Please drive at safe speeds at all times. You of all people know there is a running event that is occurring on that road that you are traveling. So drive slowly. Do not place any signs or decorations on the vehicle that block your views out of windows of the vehicle.
3. Night running -- From sunset to sunrise runners are required to wear a lighted vest or a reflective vest with a blinking light, and carry a lighted flashlight or wear a headlamp. As a precautionary matter, we encourage runners to wear reflective vests at all times. We strongly urge you to stay in your van between sunset and sunrise unless you are running or safely within the confines of a transition area. Should you determine it is absolutely necessary to be outside you van at night, you must be wearing a reflective vest and you must have a light attached to you or in your hand. Everyone needs to be alert. Traffic may expect runners along the road but they will not expect anyone darting across the road to support or cheer on a runner. So everyone, not just the runner, must be careful at all times.
For many runners this is their favorite run of their 3 legs and this is their favorite time of the relay. It can be such a great experience. Enjoy the moment, but be alert.
4. Drinking and drivingThis is a serious issue. The laws that prohibit motorists from drinking and driving obviously apply to our participants too.
5. Escorts At any part of the relay a runner may be accompanied by another runner. But please no bike escorts except on Leg 4 or on bike paths. On certain roads a bike escort creates a traffic and safety hazard.