Bob Fine of Delray Beach, Florida was a long time USATF volunteer and a member of the Masters Track & Field Hall of Fame. He was killed Wednesday morning in Reno, Nevada while out for a jog before the 2008 USATF Annual Convention. He was 77 years old.

“Bob’s contribution to USA Track & Field has been enormous, and we are all stunned by this terrible tragedy,” said USATF President Bill Roe. “To get news like this is always devastating, and to have it happen here at our Annual Meeting adds to the shock of what has occurred. Our deepest sympathies to go his family, and to the many, many people who benefited from his tireless work.”

This is a good opportunity to remind yourself what can happen when you aren’t paying attention. Bob was running before dawn on a dark, unfamiliar street when he tried crossing the road near a dangerous curve. He was wearing dark clothes with a hood covering most of his face so there was no chance of light reflecting off of his skin.

I recommend against playing chicken with a car. Just last night I had to remind somebody that no matter who wins when a pedestrian or cyclist is involved, the vehicle that weighs 2000 pounds more than you is going to win.

If you are going to run in the dark or if you are going to jaywalk, use a little sense and keep yourself safe.

  • Use sidewalks & crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight.
  • Always assume that the car doesn’t see you, even when you have the right of way.

I’ve written a few newsletters on the topic that you may want to read. One of them deals with the steps that I take to avoid getting hit by a car again, and the other details a more complete list for running in the dark.

My thoughts go out to Bob’s wife and four children, to the woman who accidentally killed him, and to the USATF community at large.

(More info: Master’s Track)