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Midlander urges drivers to be mindful of runners on the roads

"That’s our decompression time, time for us to get our endorphins going, and at the same token in the back of your head you're like 'look for cars.'"

MIDLAND, Texas — Lanita Torres has been running in Midland for years, but a big problem she sees while out on her morning runs is cars not paying attention to her and other runners on the road.

"That’s our decompression time, time for us to get our endorphins going, and at the same token the back of your head you're 'like look for cars, look for cyclists, make sure there’s nobody out on the road,' and it takes a little bit of a bit of that fun away when you’re on edge when you shouldn’t have to be," Torres said. "Pedestrians have the right of way, but nine times out of 10 we don’t get the right of way."

To help herself feel safe on her run, she runs in a group.

"We run in coed groups all the time," Torres said. "Safety is in numbers, so it’s easier to see you when you have five people, 10, 15, sometimes 20."

Her group has codes among themselves to stay aware at all times. 

"And nine times out of 10 we’re having to do little codes between each other," Torres said. "If a car is facing us, we have to yell 'car up' and we all jump onto the sidewalk or jump to the side of the road. Or if there is a car coming behind us from the opposite direction, 'car back' and we all scurry over to the left-hand side of the road. That way we can be in courtesy of them, but they are hopefully going to try to be courteous of us as well."

Torres also uses a safety vest to make sure drivers see her.

"You literally unclip it, you put it on like a backpack, we remember those back to school days right? And you clip it under your chest," Torres said. "So it’s not like you’re accidentally coming up on a runner. You can see us in plenty of time if you’re diligent with not being on your cell phones. Don’t be distracted and keep in mind that it’s early and you’re going to work or you’re going to be starting your day, but we’re starting our day as well."

Midland police also urge drivers and runners to be mindful of each other and the laws while they share the same roads.

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