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Running safe?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:36 pm
by Patrick
My wife and I are going to Tobago for the fist time in October (can't wait!!!)

We are staying at Petit Careme.

The thing is that we are both runners and will be going running, probably daily, in preparation for the 2008 London Marathon...

I was just wondering how safe it would be to do that and whether anyone knew of any good routes we could take.



Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:44 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hello Patrick

Welcome aboard! :wink:

Rather you than me, running in that heat. I assume you will do so either very early in the morning - 6am-8am probably being the best time.

I HATE it when people ask questions about safety, because there's no simple answer to the question. I can only tell you that if I was a runner in training, I would not hesitate to do so, but I would observe all the normal common-sense precautions that I would follow here at home in the UK. From Petit Careme you have several choices. However, from a safety point of view, I think your best bet will be to nip straight across the golf course onto the Caribbean Coast Road and then use the road in either direction. Running on the main road with light traffic is probably safer than running the quiet but lovely country lanes behind the villa, on Mount Irvine.

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:15 pm
by Steve Pitts
Hi Patrick

I have to prefix this reply by admitting that I have never as much as broken into a trot anywhere, at any time, during our visits to Tobago.
I speak therefore as a confirmed slow, to dead-slow pedestrian and car driver :oops: .

Your location would probably encourage you to head out on the Shirvan Rd, either past Mt Irvin and on towards Grafton, Black Rock and Plymouth or back towards the Claude Noel Highway, via Mt Pleasant.

Although this is a main highway, there is no continuous pavement or sidewalk, so running in the road is really the only option. This is now a very fast stretch of road and those drivers who are inclined to speed really put the hammer down along Shirvan. We were there in May whilst a cycle event was staged along this stretch of road and even though there were 'Slow' signs, coned areas, marshalls, water points and lots of young cyclists (kids of 8 or 9) taking part, we saw some very aggressive overtaking along the Mt Irvin beach and the Wall sections, with cyclists and 3 cars abreast on two occasions.
Sheer madness on a Sunday morning.

Although there is street lighting along this stretch, it is quite dimly lit, so if you do venture out before dawn, or after dusk, plenty of reflective wear and a St Christopher would be a good idea. Please don't venture out onto Milford Rd or the Claude Noel Highway unless your life insurance premiums are up to date.

During the day, the heat will be punishing, unless you are used to running in temps of 35 degrees + and high humidity.
Maybe some pre-dawn circuits of Crown Point / Store bay local Rd (runs parallel to the runway) which is pretty flat would do, but it certainly isn't marathon distances that we're talking here.

Lots of local folks can always be seen up and out powerwalking (the odd one or two even jogging) at 5:30am by nutters like me who get up early to go fishing at first light. Many people carry a metre length of broom handle to fend of the many dogs that are also about at that time of day, looking for someone to chase and bark at - it's the only exercise they get. I would imagine that this is an essential piece of kit for anyone in marathon training mode.

Hope this doesn't put you off, but it's worth taking a recce and a few of the above precautions before you venture forth.


PS - Wherever you run, watch out for the pot holes which are numerous and in many instances seemingly bottomless

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:05 am
by David Watkins
Hi Feb this year I saw some runners in training and they were accompanied by a car behind them with its lights and flashers going,and these were local people.

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:54 am
by Steve Wooler
Hi David

That wouldn't have been for personal security, though - would it? It was more about making sure they weren't run down, I would have thought. Are you sure it was training and not an actual race?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:06 am
by David Watkins
Yes it was to warn other drivers of the runners.It could have ben a race because there were quite a few.They had started at Buccoo junction and come uo past The Mot-Mot to the old plantation at Carnbee/Claude Noel.
ps how's your itineraray for next year?I'm going out on 29 Nov until early March.

Running safe!

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:00 pm
by Kevin Pallant
I was intrigued when I saw the title of this post - I had visions of a large metal box making its way hastily from Scarborough to Crown Point! :lol:

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:55 am
by Gabriele
Ciao Patrick: I have the opportunity to run everyday, and Tobago can offer many possibilities depending on the type of training you would like to do (flat, incline, mix terrain). Temperature/Humidity is definetly a factor, positive in the moment you will go back to cooler conditions. If during your holiday, you will have car, bicycle, your options of trails will increase. I will be glad to give you more details when you reach tobago (call me at Tartaruga Restaurant 6390940). This last week, I spent some time exploring a beautiful old estate road, that connects Mason/Moriah road to the top of Island Water Falls, and continuing to Immortelle Village. No houses, no car, only birds, green and during these days.... plenty mangoes! Recommend back water pack for longer runs. A presto, Gabriele

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:02 am
by Patrick
Thanks to all for your replies.

Gabriele, I will certainly take you up on your kind offer when we get there.

We do intend to hire a car, so that might give us some better options.

We are sooooooo looking forward to getting there and have even bought some citronella and lavender oils for the infamous sand fleas!!!! (or are they flies???)