Safe is SMART | SABRE Red® Review

Disclaimer: I received SABRE Red® products in exchange for my review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I have been a solo runner ever since moving to this town five years ago and more than once I have received comments like "Your husband lets you run out in the dark?!" 

Umm... yes. He "lets me"? While he doesn't exactly love me running in the dark, he does know it's the only chance I have to get out and he trusts me to run smart. (Plus he married me this way, knowing well of my independent streak ;) And I'm thankful he does trust me.

For a while now I have been feeling like I should find pepper spray or some sort of defensive product to take with me on runs. Whether running in the dark or even in broad day light on desolate country roads, being a solo runner just isn't that safe anymore. Animals are my main concern here (especially bear) but, after the terrible events in the news lately, you just never know. As a BibRave Pro, I received SABRE Red® Runner Pepper Gel along with two other self defense products to test while running.

"Safe is Smart"

SABRE Red®'s motto says it well. Choosing to run safe isn't a sign of fear or weakness, it's smart.

Now that all of my week day outdoor runs happen in the dark, it's time to step up my safety game. I wear my reflective gear and carry handheld lights (a necessity because drivers DO NOT pay attention!) which help me to be easily seen but they don't offer any sort of defense if I am approached by a person or critter. That's where the pepper gel comes in.

The Runner Pepper Gel (middle product in above picture) has an adjustable hand strap which makes it very easy to run with and contains 35 police-strength bursts to spray. On dark runs, I carry the Pepper Gel in my right hand and a handheld light in my left hand.

It's lightweight and deploying is simple to do after switching off the safety. The key is to remember to switch the safety back on after testing to prevent accidental discharge. I did a test spray and the stream of pepper gel covered quite a distance - potentially 12 ft, though I didn't officially measure it out.

One more SABRE Red® product that I will carry with me on my solo runs is the Personal Alarm with clip & LED light. I use this alarm as my first "line of defense" when a dog is aggressively approaching me and it has caused the dogs to turn around and reconsider nipping at my legs!

Really I want to use the pepper gel as a last resort, because I do love animals, but when one is running at me baring teeth and fluffing up its back fur I need to do something. The personal alarm serves as that something. It is very loud and I like the added LED light feature too.

While personal defense moves are very helpful, I do feel like these SABRE Red® products are a near essential for runners who hit the roads solo, like me. No matter how "strong" I think I am, my somewhat small 120-lb frame stands very little chance against a large animal or even human aggressor.

The SABRE Red® Pepper Gel and Personal Alarm may not be the cure-all for every danger in today's world but this is an easy, discrete and affordable safety measure for me to take and it's certainly much better than nothing.

The Runner Pepper Gel with Adjustable Hand Strap is available for $12.99 (check your state's laws on pepper spray!) and Personal Alarm with Clip & LED is $14.99. Join us for #BibChat on December 4th for a chance to win your own SABRE Red® products!

What measures do you take for personal defense? Do you hit the road solo or in a group?

My Weekly Wrap

Easing back into running after a second degree groin pull/hip flexor strain in mid-August.

SUN: Flying home from Nashville, TN! We were all exhausted and so glad to be back in MN.

MON: (Treadmill) 3.3 mi 00:30 09:05 pace

TUES: Hip strengthening exercises and I signed up to run the Frozen Feat 10k in February! That race is one of my favorites. They have the best socks for race swag and a February race, while icy and cold, helps to break up the long winter.

WED: (Treadmill) 3.3 mi 00:30 09:05 pace.

THURS: (Treadmill) 4 mi 00:37 09:09 pace. Feeling AWESOME because I can’t feel that hip flexor strain anymore. It feels so good just to run again, no limp, no pain. I can tell I’m out of running shape though ;) I’ve got some work to do!


SAT: 6.2 mi 00:49 07:50 pace. November was my "easy run" month and now it's over! Time to start pushing the pace and seeing how my hip handles it.

Let's Connect!

Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. I've been told by so many people to run with mace or pepper spray, but a policeman friend of mine told me that if the wind is blowing at me and I spray it, it's going to I don't carry it.

  2. I will be moving to a very rural area soon and will need a few safety items. It will be an big adjustment to carry pepper spray in my hand at all times though. Thanks for the review!

  3. The personal alarm sounds like a really useful product. I am so glad that I have my running group to run with. No one is going to mess with us


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