I contacted Sted E. Payce, head of the Office of Key Security at the National Institute of Running Sciences. He shared a survey done last year about places runners keep their keys:
- Running shorts or pants pocket – 47%
- Shoe laces – 22%
- Fanny pack or strap-on key pouch – 9%
- Neck or bracelet chain – 7%
- Buried deep inside thick, unmanageable hair – 5%
- Hanging on nose ring – 3%
- Other – 2%
Mr. Payce believes it doesn’t matter which method you use, though he suggested using a nose ring is best as your key is always right in front of you. However, remembering where you put it is key. (Mr. Payce laughed after saying this.)
“Yes, that’s funny,” I replied. “But what do you do if somehow your key gets lost?”
Mr. Payce says these guidelines have been developed:
- Don’t panic until at least several hours have passed.
- Don’t smash or break a window to get inside your house or car. Judges have heard the “I lost my key” excuse a zillion times.
- Re-trace your running route. Even if you don’t find your key, the extra mileage may mean a PR in next week’s race.
- Have faith that when people lose their keys, even in remote or dangerous areas, less than 1 in 3 cases end in death.