How you can stay safe exercising on the Roanoke River Greenway

ROANOKE,Va. – Jennifer and Dan Whitcomb frequently use the Greenway along with their dog Smokey. The Whitcomb’s say they try to stay aware of their surroundings while jogging.

"There are bicyclists passing all the time and other runners will try to signal you when they are passing,” said Jennifer Whitcomb. “Also, if someone is making a noise or someone needs help you can hear them, but if you are listening to loud music it is a lot harder to be aware of what's going on," 

The Greenway runs through the Roanoke Valley and is used by both riders and joggers. One rider shared a popular concern he has on the trail.

"It's people wearing headphones and they aren't aware of their surroundings and not aware of a bicyclists or someone who is going to pass them," said bike rider Greg Walter.

We spoke with Tim Habla owner of Counter Response who says that using all of one's senses is crucial when in any environment like the Greenway. 

"You got to live in the world that you are in at the moment,” said Habla. “If you are running on the Greenway you need to be on the Greenway." 

Habla says there is still a way for people who must listen to music and still remain safe. 

"If you are used to running with workout music take one of the headphones out. You need to at least have one ear present in order to listen to your surroundings, but if you can get use to running without music do it," Habla said. 

Using your environment is recommended if an individual is attacked. Habla recommends to always run with something in your hand similar to a pen.  

"Take that pen and hit them right in the sternum, forehead and temple and hit a pressure point," said Habla.