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Old 21.02.2011, 00:01
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Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

Hello all:

I like to run around 7 - 9 pm, after dark, and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether this would be a good idea. Do any other women here run after dark? I live in near the Friedhof Sihlfeld tram stop area in Zurich.
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Old 21.02.2011, 00:04
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

If you run fast enough, yes

All depending on where in Zurich.. not that familiar with Zurich now but in general i would not go running on my own in the dark, even as a guy

Well i wouldn't run full stop but thats me being lazy...

No matter what town or country you are in, its always safer to run in pair or small groups than on your own.
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Old 21.02.2011, 00:21
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

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Hello all:

I like to run around 7 - 9 pm, after dark, and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether this would be a good idea. Do any other women here run after dark? I live in near the Friedhof Sihlfeld tram stop area in Zurich.
I would say it is generally safe but avoid bushy and wooded areas. Even quiet dark fields that seem to be common in the middle of residential areas can get dangerous if a sex attacker is on the prowl. Bit of common sense will keep you safe.
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Old 21.02.2011, 00:31
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

Zurich is generally pretty safe, but common sense should still prevail.

There's a group of runners who meet up fairly regularly, I understand. Perhaps you could get in touch with them?
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Old 21.02.2011, 07:44
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

hi Bzz--I don't run trails at night, but I know a lot of people run along the Limmat after dark. The lake also seems like a good option, though honestly I generally avoid running alone after dark as a rule. I don't think it's unsafe, but I prefer not to find out otherwise...the Wednesday group isn't all that active anymore (most of them have become ultra-runners!), but there is also this one.

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Hello all:

I like to run around 7 - 9 pm, after dark, and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether this would be a good idea. Do any other women here run after dark? I live in near the Friedhof Sihlfeld tram stop area in Zurich.
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Old 21.02.2011, 08:11
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

I used to run regularly after dark (in winter) and was always surprised at how many other runners I would see. I ran along brightly lit footpaths and even though at the time I lived near the lake I would never have run along the paths there at night.
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Old 21.02.2011, 08:20
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

So long as you don't wear dark clothes, you'll be safe. At least from cars. Wear some kind of reflectors, and they'll be able to see you, even when it's raining.
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Old 21.02.2011, 09:50
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

Safety is relative. Are you in any more danger running at night around Zurich than during the day? At 7-9pm I am of the opinion that there would be no statistically significant increase in danger. Most areas tend to be well lit in the city(and out of it), and there are still plenty of people around at those times. If you're smart about it (at any time, not just the evening), there is nothing to worry about.

I am not an evening runner myself, tending mostly towards the morning before 6am, at which it's dark for at least half the year. Are the Swiss not early morning runners/joggers, or is it just my personal experience?
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Old 21.02.2011, 10:11
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

I go jogging around Dietikon quite often at night, anywhere between 7pm and 1am...never come close to being concerned yet. As someone previously mentioned, more dangers exist during the day!
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Old 21.02.2011, 10:17
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

Safe, at any time.

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Old 21.02.2011, 10:25
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

I think all the runners among us would agree that women probably worry about this more than men might. Statistically, the danger might be insignificant, but I would still prefer to be on the safe side than one of the statistics, especially if you cannot express yourself well in a foreign language were you to encounter a dicey situation. Statistically, you are more likely to find the trails and paths frequented with cyclists, pedestrians and other joggers during the day than at night.

If, like the OP, you prefer running at night, I would seek out paths that are busy at night as well, like Limmat, or go with a group.

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Safety is relative. Are you in any more danger running at night around Zurich than during the day? At 7-9pm I am of the opinion that there would be no statistically significant increase in danger. Most areas tend to be well lit in the city(and out of it), and there are still plenty of people around at those times. If you're smart about it (at any time, not just the evening), there is nothing to worry about.
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I go jogging around Dietikon quite often at night, anywhere between 7pm and 1am...never come close to being concerned yet. As someone previously mentioned, more dangers exist during the day!
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Old 21.02.2011, 10:43
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

To the OP: the Friedhof / Graveyard is closed after sunset. Although many use the lovely open space for Tai Chi and strolling, it's not the best place to jog as it's not a park. If you are running on the sidewalks of the area there is little to fear. If you head up towards the forest beware of stumps and branches more than the bogey man. There's no reason to be unduly alarmed in the neighbourhood; it's as calm as anywhere else in the city. Loads of people jog at night time.
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Old 21.02.2011, 10:52
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

Yeah... what the others said

Plus, if you're running alone especially, leave the ipod at home. Amazing what they pick up when you allow them to work
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Old 21.02.2011, 11:03
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

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hi Bzz--I don't run trails at night, but I know a lot of people run along the Limmat after dark. The lake also seems like a good option, though honestly I generally avoid running alone after dark as a rule. I don't think it's unsafe, but I prefer not to find out otherwise...the Wednesday group isn't all that active anymore (most of them have become ultra-runners!), but there is also this one.
Yes, the Zürich Hash House harriers run together after dark very often. They however are runners with a drinking problem - or was it the other way around. But they welcome newbies - ditch the drinking part after if you must and just focus on running. They have good trails, depending on the hare.

If you must run after dark - which is pretty unavoidable in winter, stick to residential areas with footpaths etc. Not that its filled with crazies waiting in the bushes to jump you, but simply the branches and uneven paths in forests arent a good idea.

Not sure where you live exactly, but one very popular route is along the lake - take the tram to Tiefenbrunnen, and start running along the lake. You can for as long as you want down to Rapperswil or a shorter one depending on what you feel up for. its one straight long road (seestrasse) which is always very busy (safe) and its very popular with runners, both male and female alike. The other one is the other side of the lake - from Enge all the way along the road down Wollishofen, Kilchberg etc
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Old 21.02.2011, 11:30
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

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I think all the runners among us would agree that women probably worry about this more than men might. Statistically, the danger might be insignificant, but I would still prefer to be on the safe side than one of the statistics, especially if you cannot express yourself well in a foreign language were you to encounter a dicey situation. Statistically, you are more likely to find the trails and paths frequented with cyclists, pedestrians and other joggers during the day than at night.
Women do have reason to worry more, because they are in more danger in that situation than men. If someone isn't comfortable with taking a risk, they don't have to take it.

The crux of the issue here when we say safety, we really mean safety from physical violence. We as humans tend to grossly inflate the actual risks of physical violence because of the psychological effect of this kind of danger (and it's not unfounded, it can certainly be traumatic). The biggest increase in danger from running at night, that certainly is not statistically insignificant, would be the increase in injuries related to lack of light (misstepping, contact with other traffic). In that way running at night is definitely less safe than running during the day.

My biggest issue is people reacting to perceived, imagined, or learned fears, fostered by many sources but media and politics being large factors, and not the actual/real danger of a situation. Because of this, we can either become hyper-vigilant to the point of crippling anxiety, or desensitized to real fear to the point where our perception of it doesn't properly function in an actual dangerous situation (focusing too intently on the threat instead of trying to escape from it, or trying to rationalize our fear away).

I don't mean to say you're wrong about not taking certain risks such as the one being discussed, because perhaps you have objectively analysed such a situation and it is simply above your risk threshold. That is perfectly ok. I'll never try base-jumping, even with all possible precautions, because it's above my risk threshold.

Anyway, sorry for derailing the thread My rant has a lot less to do with anything you said, and more with what's been on my mind lately.
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Old 21.02.2011, 11:38
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

I won't run much when it's dark in winter as I keep falling over on black ice.

But, when I have done it, I've see loads of lone female runners (compared with the U.K. for example).


I run for fun so prefer to do it in when I can actually see things and enjoy the view but this means less running as there are more limiting factors that stop me running.

Footpaths aren't very well lit where I live so a head-torch is essential to see where you are going.

From experience in the U.K., and irrespectively of whether you are male or female, I would say that running early in the morning in the dark is safer than running in the evening in the dark (from the point of view of being verbally or physically abused).
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Old 21.02.2011, 13:29
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

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Hello all:

I like to run around 7 - 9 pm, after dark, and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether this would be a good idea. Do any other women here run after dark? I live in near the Friedhof Sihlfeld tram stop area in Zurich.
Coming to think of it, do any other women here walk after dark?

I was trying to put myself in the shoes of a potential attacker, and I think between two equally hot-looking pedestrian and runner, I would target the pedestrian. Why? Because the runner would be sweaty and slippery, hard to grab and hold. Second, more important reason is a fully warmed up runner charged with adrenalin is likely to kick and punch far more powerfully than a pedestrian. Plus runners can run away more easily. So statistically speaking, I think running is safer than walking
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Old 21.02.2011, 13:41
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

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I would say it is generally safe but avoid bushy and wooded areas. Even quiet dark fields that seem to be common in the middle of residential areas can get dangerous if a sex attacker is on the prowl. Bit of common sense will keep you safe.
On the other hand I find the woods the safest; just get out to Uetliberg in the dark and you might find a few dedicated runners or no one, most likely not a place where a would-be sex maniac would be lurking. It is the lonely roads with dark pockets that would worry me more for this kind of risk (as also the risk of running into someone or getting run over by someone).

Hmmm, I don't know if my perceptions are right, a lot of what we think is shaped by the kind of movies we watched
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Old 21.02.2011, 13:44
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

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Coming to think of it, do any other women here walk after dark?
Yes, I power walk most nights, including last night when I came home looking like a snow(wo)man (no-one was out).

I do my best to stay where it is lit, although last nights course took me though a part that wasn't. Unfortunately, to get in some hills it is the only way I can go.
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Old 21.02.2011, 13:44
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Re: Is it safe to run after dark (Zurich)?

The wednesday evening running group will start up again (soon) - when I can sort out a date - this week is out for me.

Finding a good time is difficult because of long/short/odd working hours.

We go all over Zurich - but tend not to run the trails of an evening - although the various Hashing groups do - BiTCH (every other Tuesday) and ZH3 (every Thursday) - both of which have meetup groups online.

My wife used to walk back across Zurich at night and never had a problem - even through parks. Mind you, she has also been know to cycle across South-Central LA to get to university - and also through some districts of Washington DC which are no-go zones!!!
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