A Lesson Learned

A true story:

I went for a short little run before Chris came over last night – we planned on running 3-4 miles together, and I wanted to run a bit more than that.  I put my Road ID app on (it alerts contacts you choose to your run, and they can track you via GPS, and if you stop moving for 5 minutes, it sends a SOS text), and set off for a quick mile.  I finished my mile, Chris arrived, and we headed out for 3-4 miles.

Fast forward a bit, and we had about half a mile left to run, and a police officer stops, gets out of his car, and approaches Chris and I.  He asks if I’m Renee, and asks a few other questions to verify my identity.  Apparently, I forgot to turn my app off after my solo mile, and my Road ID app either malfunctioned, or something happened and it sent my Mom a text saying I had been stationary for 5 minutes, and it sent my last known location (via GPS).  I hadn’t stopped for more than 5 minutes, and the time limit I had set hadn’t happened.  I’m really not sure why the app sent this SOS text to Mom.

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I quickly pulled out my phone and saw 17 missed calls, a voicemail, and several texts.  I felt so bad that the police were out looking for me.  The police officer notified the other police officers/dispatch that I was found, and I called Mom, very embarrassed.  I let Mom know I was safe, and apologized to her and the officer for all the trouble. I texted everyone who called/texted me to let them know I was alive, and Chris and I ran the last half mile to my apartment.

Moral of the story: The Road ID app works.  Another moral of the story: I should have checked and turned off the Road ID app when I started running with Chris – I usually only use the app when I am running alone.  Third moral of the story: Mom knows best, and will call the police if necessary to find me.  Last moral of the story: The Road ID app isn’t prefect, but it’s a useful tool.

Lesson learned.

Road ID Review and Giveaway

I’d like to share one of my very favorite running, and life, accessories… the Road ID.  Road ID is an ID that you wear on your person while running, biking, hiking, etc.  It’s functionality go far beyond just ID for outdoor activities, it can be worn by anyone, including children, to have an ID on them at all times, it can be worn as a medical ID, it can even be worn on pets.

December 1st, I will be giving a Road ID away to one of my readers. [Giveaway is closed, but you can still purchase Road ID’s on the Road ID website.]  This is my first giveaway, and it is such an important item that I truly believe everyone should have.  I’ll have instructions on the giveaway at the bottom of this post, but read on to find out what makes Road ID such an invaluable safety tool.

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I cannot give enough praise for Road ID, and though I am very thankful mine has never been needed, I feel safer knowing that if I am in an accident, first responders will be able to notify my family immediately and know of any medical conditions I have.

Road ID comes in several different forms, 3 bracelets, an anklet, dog tags, and a shoe pouch.  I have the Wrist ID Slim, and I wear it 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, every day of the year.  The last time I had my Road ID off for any length of time was for my sisters wedding.  The time before that, my wedding.  Before that, never.  Those two instances are the only times I have been without my Road ID.  I shower with it, sleep with it, run with it, do my job with it.  It never comes off.  My mom and sister both have Road ID’s too, and also never take them off.  See my Mom and I below, my Road ID band is white, and Mom’s is pink (this picture was taken last summer after we ran through a downpour!)

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The Slim ID is the smallest version of the Road ID, the stainless steel, laser engraved ID can fit on any “cause” rubber bracelet (like Livestrong bands), and it comes with one of 14 colored bands.  There are sizes, so even children can safely and comfortably wear this bracelet with no issue.  The Slim ID is the only ID that comes with 5 lines of text instead of 6, so if you need extra space for allergies, medical conditions, or phone numbers, you may consider getting one of the other versions, as they do allow for more text.  You can buy multiple colored rubber bracelets, or attach the Slim ID to a “cause” bracelet you already have.

The Wrist ID EliteWrist ID Sport, and Ankle ID all have the same stainless steel, laser engraved ID, with 6 lines of text. The Elite has a larger rubber bracelet with an adjustable watch-like buckle, and you can purchase multiple colored rubber bracelets and change out the ID.  The Sport is a canvas band with a velcro adjustable strap and reflective strips, and the ankle ID is a neoprene band with velcro strap and reflective strip.  There is also a shoe pouch that has an ID attached, and has room for a key, it attaches to the shoelaces by velcro.  The ID’s on the Sport, Ankle, and Shoe ID are interchangeable, they all have ID plates that slip through the bands.  The dog tags, called Fixx ID’s,  are also stainless steel and laser engraved.

Another cool feature (for the Wrist ID Slim and Wrist ID Elite only) is the Badges.  These are small stainless steel, laser engraved, accessories to add to your band, to personalize it or offer motivation or support to the wearer.  I have two badges, one says RUN and the other says 13.1.  The badges range from distances (such as running distances like 5K, 13.1, 26.2, or Triathlon distances like 70.3 or 140.6) to supporting causes (like Team RWB, or the pink breast cancer ribbon, or the Autism Speaks logo) to Medical badges.  You can even customize the badges with a name or word of encouragement.  

The last kind of ID that Road ID offers is for pets, the Scout ID.  This ID comes in large or small sizes, and is designed for dogs.  Since many people run or hike with their furry friends it is a great idea for them to have ID as well.  Many pet owners already have ID tags for their dogs, but this ID, with the stainless steel and laser engraved, is specially designed to be extra durable.  It is quiet and doesn’t jingle like some ID tags, and comes in two sizes, for small or larger dog collars.

Road ID has warranties on all of their ID’s, and will replace the ID if it wears through, this warranty is just for the stainless steel ID, not for the band it is attached to.  I wear mine every single day, and besides a couple scratches, it looks brand new, I doubt I will ever wear it out.  Road ID sells reflective gear as well, such as lights and reflective bands.  Road ID is all about safety for active individuals, and with that in mind, they also created an app for iPhone and Android.  The only two apps I use while running are the Road ID app and Charity Miles.

This app is FREE, and I think everyone who runs, walks, bikes, or hikes, should use this app.  You can let up to 5 people know that you are going for a run (or bike, etc), and lets you set an approximate duration, and will text those people when you start the app.  Road ID then tracks your location using the GPS in your phone, and allows the people you select to track you.  If you (or your phone) stops moving for 5 minutes, the app will send a text to your people and let them know you are stationary.  The app does beep loudly if you stop before it sends the texts to your people, in case you are simply stuck at a traffic light, in the restroom, or stopped to stretch.  You are able to let the app know you are okay, and it won’t alert your loved ones.  However, if you are in an accident or injured in some way, the app will alert your people after 5 minutes that you are stationary, and will send them your last known location.

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I notify James and my Mom when I go for a run, and generally leave my time set at 1 hour, unless I know I will be gone for longer than that.  I generally give myself extra time, as I walk a couple minutes at the beginning and at the end of my runs.  You are able to extend the time during the run if you do need more time in case you mis-judged.  The only downside of this app is that it does not alert your people when you are finished running and stop the app.  This is something Road ID is working on and will update in the future.  [UPDATE: The most recent (as of 11 23 14) app update on iPhone has fixed this issue! You can now send an update to your people that you are finished running or biking safely!] I have forgotten to turn my app off once or twice, and got a concerned call from my mother who is 4 hours away from me.  Turns out, the app works!  I was fine, I had just forgotten to turn the app off, and was stretching and drinking water on my balcony.

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The app also allows you to make a lock screen for your phone, with emergency contacts and medical issues.  I do not use this, as I have my Road ID Slim, and Apple has also updated lately and has an Emergency Contacts available from the home screen.  I should also note the app is not intended to replace the Road ID bracelet or anklet or shoe pouch.

The biggest argument against spending the $20-40 (depending on which ID you choose) for an ID is that you have your phone with you, why would you need an ID on your person.  Now I run with my phone in my SPIbelt, so it is unlikely I would lose my phone during a run, but if I am hit by a car or in an accident, it is very likely my phone would be destroyed or cracked and not any help to me.  An ID on my wrist is going to stay there, and there are countless testimonials on Road ID’s website as to the effectiveness of having an ID on you, where the first responders or EMT workers will easily see and take action.

I love the Road ID so much and believe the small family company saves lives, and I would like to give one of my readers a Road ID.  All you have to do is comment below by December 1 at 7:00pm Central, with your name and contact email.  I will choose a winner on Monday, December 1 at 7:00pm (central time).  If you already have a Road ID, this would make a GREAT Christmas gift. If you don’t have a Road ID, please comment, and if you don’t win, I still strongly encourage you to get a Road ID, or ask for one for Christmas! [Giveaway is closed, thank you for participating! You can still buy your own Road ID on the Road ID website!]