A local man who habitually runs while wearing earbuds has assured everyone that the practice poses no risk, because he keeps the volume at a “safe level.”
The same man regularly startles when he’s overtaken by fellow runners and walkers—even when they’ve made a conscious effort to alert him to their presence.
“I know you hear stories about runners getting hit by trains and stuff while wearing headphones or whatever, but, you know, I’m fine,” said Alex Trebek, 33. “I keep my volume at a safe level.”
Eyewitness accounts tell a different story, Dumb Runner has learned.
“Dude was totally zoned out,” said Patrick Sajak, 25, a fellow runner who overtook Trebek during a recent run on a local path. “I was running just slightly faster than him, so it was pretty gradual that I passed him.”
“I sort of scuffed my feet as I got close, and cleared my throat, to let (Trebek) know I was behind him,” Sajak said, “but I guess he didn’t hear it. The moment I pulled alongside him, he leaped straight up, I swear, like three feet.”
Vanna White, 56, had a similar story.
“I saw (Trebek) last weekend, early Saturday morning,” said White, who was at a local park walking her dog. “He was stopped in the middle of the trail, wearing earbuds and looking at his phone, when I came up behind him. I said ‘good morning,’ but he must not have heard me, because he jumped pretty hard.”
“I apologized for scaring him,” she said, “but I don’t think he heard that, either.”
Asked how he can be sure he’s hearing everything around him when, by definition, he would be unaware of the things he can’t hear, Trebek paused and blinked several times.
“Well,” he responded, “because my volume is at a safe level.”
“I can’t run without my tunes!”