I’ve never had a runner but always made my girls hold my hand since they were tiny walking across the street or in a parking lot. We had one epic tantrum related to this and I did not give in to one bit. She never pushed the issue again. With my second, we still hold hands but I let them run ahead of me on the side walk and when they get to a street they either just stop or I call red light. We have played red light/green light a lot in fun situations away from traffic and I know they will absolutely stop 100 percent of the time. Of course you know your children best and what will work for them but thought I would share in case it can help you in these types of situations or similar.