"Emergency Stop" isn't

OKay, finally catching up again. So, last Wednesday (no, not the 4th, I'm talking about March), I was running at the Y near my in-laws, when I had a conversation with the lady two treadmills over. (This will lead eventually into a rant about BQ times, I promise - but not in this post.) She and I talked marathons and running for a while, maybe 10 minutes, and at a volume that wasn't disturbing anyone. So, curteous souls that we both are, when a gentleman stepped up the the hamster pad between us, I wished her good luck and we stopped talking by mutual agreement.

Fast forward a few minutes. I have my headphones on again, volume at a level where I can hear the song above the increasing whine of the dreadmill's motor (I'm starting into my final couple of miles, and speeding up a bit), when the gentleman slips. And falls.

Now the treadmill is still moving. He wasn't running fast, not much more than a brisk walk, but it's still a painful fall, and then he's being abraded by the belt as he's trying to get up. His glasses are off, he can't see, and I reach over and smack the big red "STOP" button that is oh so conveniently situated on the handrail on this model. And, lo and behold, the treadmill starts to stop; which is to say that is slows down a tad. Meanwhile, my earlier conversation companion is telling me "Hit the stop button," and I am telling her "I did. I did," while mashing at it again. (She and I are actually still running during this - I was pleasantly surprised aferwards that neither of us fell too!) Eventually, the program decides that "STOP" really means "STOP," and not just "Hey, could ya slow it down a notch?" and the belt grinds to a halt.

The guy is scraped up, but says that he is okay in response to our questions. He leaves after a couple minutes, and I hope that he was really okay. Scary stuff - you think that hitting that button really will stop you in an emergency, and it turns out that all it does on that model is dump you into cool-down mode. Kind of makes me wonder what the emergency stop on my home model would do. . . and I think that I probably ought to check it out sometime.

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Blogger Wes said...

Wow! I'm kind of scared to run on my treadmill now. The belt is slipping, and I've lost the key to tighten it up. It has one of those little magnets you clip to your shirt. Magnet comes out, treadmill stops. Problem is we don't wear it most of the time :-)

12:06 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

I guess no one uses those little magnet things. I don't and I don't think I've ever seen anyone use it before. I'm sure that gentlemen will do so next time. Glad to see you were there to hit the stop button.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Garou said...

It actually does not have a magnet on it - it's a StarTrac Elite. I like the fans, like the feel of the belt, hate the programs and the utter lack of safety features (like the magnet) which I can disregard.

Yes, I don't use the magnet, which is possibly foolish of me, but the option is there. With this, you don't even have that choice.

8:54 PM  

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