I’ve talked before about how I’ve amusingly coined myself a runner, and that I have a half marathon looming as quickly as a dreaded dentist appointment seems to.
My training started in the spring, and seeing as I can’t get out to run until 8pm, I was very lucky to have all those lovely light evenings at my disposal. The end of August brought quite a swift halt to this, and I had a couple of really bad training runs as dusk turned to full blown dark. One week, my husband encouraged me to try a new route that would involve a long, slow hill climb, followed by a four mile descent from the very top of Southampton Common back to my front door.
Being something of a dick, I opted to tag on a casual five miles to the start of his “dream route”, and so when I eventually made it to the Common, I happened upon what Crimewatch may term “an unsafe area for lone women”. I could barely see three paces in front of me, the ground was uneven, and I was wearing plain black fitness garb. I tossed up my options – risk breaking an ankle by running too quickly and tripping over, or risk being murdered by running too slowly. I went for the former and vowed to kit myself out in something a bit more safety conscious.
I was contacted by the lovely people at Tuvizo as they make fantastic high visibility reflective vests for adults and children, and they thought Mouse and I might like to try them out. I have to say at the outset that these aren’t “vests” in the traditional sense, they’re more like belt harnesses that you wear over the top of your clothing and fasten with a buckle. Still, once I’d got my head around this, I saw how effective they could be as a standalone safety accessory, rather than a piece of apparel.
I chose pink because I’m a girl (don’t lynch me!) but they come in yellow too.
(Note about image: Admittedly it’s not fully dark here. I pushed it to the brink of bedtime before Mouse started to faux-cry so I made do with a dusk shot. But you get a flavour of the razzle dazzle. Oh, and I look like shit because I’m tired but about to go to the gym for two hours on a Monday night. URGH.)
What I like about mine is that I can wear it over anything – it’s fully adjustable so it fits nice and snug on top of a normal exercise top while it’s still warm enough to run in one layer, but as it gets colder I can loosen the straps and wear it over a jacket too. It’s pretty weightless and can be wiped clean.
Now, Mouse isn’t at school age quite yet, but I can absolutely see the benefit of children having one of these in their bags to pop over their winter coats. In the real ball-breaking murk of winter it can be dark by 4.30pm which is still a perfectly sociable hour to be roaming about, plus Halloween and firework displays mean there are lots of evening outings ahead where these vests will definitely keep your child loud and proud, in plain sight. There’s also a clearly labelled ID insert on the back of the vest where you can add emergency contact details and medical information, which is a fab idea.
(Note about image: How bloody cute?!)
Tuvizo have very kindly given me a set of vests to give away – one adult and one child vest, in either pink or yellow. Would you like to win it? I’ve set up a very easy little competition, just follow the link below and get in amongst it.
Remember peeps, safety first innit!
-SJW October 2016