Trail runner offers safety tips after Running Man’s death

Philip Weber III, a.k.a "Running Man." Photo courtesy of NBC 29 Philip Weber III, a.k.a “Running Man.” Photo courtesy of NBC 29

Following the December 29 death of 55- year-old Philip Weber III, known as Charlottesville’s “Running Man,” an ultra marathoner and running club board member makes suggestions for safe running.

Weber was struck and killed by a 2001 Isuzu Trooper on Ivy Road around 7am. At the time of the incident, police closed the westbound lane of Ivy Road for several hours. While the investigation is ongoing, the name of the driver has not been released and no charges have been filed.

Ivy Road isn’t an optimal road for joggers, says Charlottesville Area Trail Runners board member Andy Jones-Wilkins. Club members tend to avoid it, he says, adding that trail runners in the club often choose to run Dick Woods Road, which has less traffic.

“Most of our running is on trails but it’s an inevitable fact of modern life that you find yourself on the road from time to time,” he says. He is familiar with Weber, a prominent member of Charlottesville’s running community.

Jones-Wilkins says many runners do, and should, take a lesson from cyclists who wear high-visibility clothes—such as construction worker-esque reflective vests and specially made shoes—even though they’re “kind of silly-looking.” Sportswear companies even make headlamps with an extremely bright bulb in the front and a blinking red light on the back.

Drivers, he says, should always be alert and aware that while most cyclists ride on the same side as vehicular traffic, joggers often run against traffic.

“We, as runners, trail runners, road runners, whatever—we ultimately are responsible for our own safety and that’s how we live our lives,” he says.

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