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Take care when exercising after dark

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com

Days are getting longer, which means more of us are running, cycling or walking the dog while it’s still dark outside.

I got an email from reader Rene Lozano, shaken by an encounter with someone running across Mansfield Dam at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Lozano was driving at about 65 mph when he spotted a runner on the inside shoulder of RR 620.

“He had no reflectors, no headlamp … nothing,” wrote Lozano, 67. “I was shocked and was so glad I did not hit him.”

Lozano stopped at the Lower Colorado River Authority office near the dam, where he alerted a deputy who headed out, presumably to suggest that the runner modify his route, carry lights or dress in brighter colors.

I see it all the time — folks out exercising, dressed in black and carrying nary a light. But running across the dam in the dark? That adds a whole new degree of scary to the situation.

Please. If you’re out before dawn or after dusk, wear bright, reflective clothing and carry a light.

And runners? Plan your route carefully. Highways packed with speeding vehicles aren’t the safest choice.

Sunday events

AIDS Walk Austin. A 5K walk benefiting AIDS Services of Austin and other local HIV and AIDS educators and research organizations. 1:30 p.m. Sunday. $20 registration fee. Walk begins at Austin City Hall Plaza, 301 W. Cesar Chavez St. 452-9255, www.asaustin.org.

The Austin Challenge. An urban adventure race for teams of two. 2 p.m. Sunday. $50. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, 79 Rainey St. www.challengenation.com/austin.

Travis Audubon Society monthly event lineup

The Travis Audubon Society’s November schedule includes the following events:

¦ Beginners’ Bird Walk at Richard Moya Park, 8-10 a.m. Nov. 3.

¦ Laguna Gloria with Sam Fason, 8:45-10:45 a.m. Nov. 3

¦ Super Tuesday! at Slaughter Creek Greenbelt at Bauerle Ranch led by Ken Zaslow, 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Nov. 6.

¦ Love Creek Preserve, Nov.10-11.

¦ Monthly Bird Count at Hornsby Bend, 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Nov. 10.

¦ Super Tuesday! at Pedernales Falls State Park led by Terry Banks, 6:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Nov. 13.

¦ “Bird Watching Hotspots in the Austin Area” (talk by Jane Tillman). 6:30-8 p.m. Nov. 14. Round Rock REI, 201 University Oaks Blvd., Suite 1100.

¦ Monthly meeting. Dr. Julia Clarke on “The Beginnings of Birds.’ Doors at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15. Meeting begins at 7 p.m. 8001 Mesa Drive.

¦ Hornsby Bend Monthly Bird Walk, 7:30 to 11 a.m. Nov. 17.

¦ Tejas Park, Lake Georgetown, 7-11 a.m. Nov. 18.

¦ Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, co-sponsored by TAS and Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., Nov. 18.

¦ Two-hour Tuesday! at Hornsby Bend led by Ken Zaslow, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Nov. 20.

¦ Two-hour Tuesday! at Champion Park led by Dan Callaway, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Nov. 27.

For more information, go to www.travisaudubon.org.