Road ID – Be Safe out there

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Training
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been running early mornings for more than 5 years now.

Unless it is a race day, which typically start around 8:00 a.m.,  when I leave the house for my morning runs it is dark out.


Basically night.

It is a rare morning when I am not out the door and well into mile #1 by 5:15 a.m or 5:20.  Unless I am in marathon training and I am running “long” meaning 15-22 miles, I am out the door even earlier.  If I’m not back, showered, dressed and ready to go to breakfast after a 20 mile run by 8:00 a.m., Joe is not a happy boy.

My stomach?  Even angrier. 

So for those extra-long run days where I might be out for 2 hours and 20 minutes or more, I’m up and out the door by 4:45 a.m.  Pretty early.

Up until a few weeks ago I never really thought very much about my safety out there.  Sure I’ve stepped on my share of stones on the trail system in the dark and rolled my ankle a time or two.  Once during a cold snap there was a patch of ice on the sidewalk in Austin where a neighbor had run their sprinklers and I took a nasty tumble.

Another time one of the footbridges I crossed had some early morning ice on it and I slipped, but for the most part I’ve always  felt very safe out there morning after morning, mile after mile.

Well when my good friend Scott Birk was killed in a collision with a motorist during a training run in last month here in Austin it really shook me.

Scott had been running far longer than I had, knew the route as well if not better than I know the routes that I regularly train on and still was tragically killed.

I have invested in a headlamp over the past year and run in a lighted vest when I am going to be doing the majority of my run in the dark along surface streets and not on the Brushy Creek Trail.  I believe that to properly train for a road race marathon, you need to train on the road, not always on the softer more forgiving trail surface.

But what if something happened to me out there?

Would anyone know who I am?  How would they contact Dawn?  Would precious time slip away before contacting an emergency contact person that could make a life or death difference?

Well on my 16-miler this Sunday I thought a lot about Scott and a lot about Dawn and Landry.  Wouldn’t I want to give myself every possible chance to survive an incident out there while I was out running or cycling?  If I passed out during a race, wouldn’t I want race officials to know if I had any allergies, or how to reach my wife by cell phone?

Of course I would.

So after more than 5 years of putting it off, this week I logged onto the Road ID website and ordered their product.

Road ID is without question the number one provider of identification wrist band, ankle band and shoe pouch ID systems for athletes in the US.  Their product is designed specifically for the endurance athlete – 100% customizable with 5 lines of text that are engraved on their bands where you can put your name, phone number, age, contact information, allergies, blood type or any other information you see fit.

Road ID Wrist Band

If you already feel like you have too many things on your wrist when you are out there like your GPS Watch, Livestrong Bracelet etc. you can opt as I did for the Road ID that goes around your ankle with a velcro strap just like a race timing chip.

Road ID Ankle Band

Or you can choose their product that affixes to your shoe laces, however for me who rotates between 4 and 5 pairs of running shoes throughout a training cycle, I didn’t want to have to try to remember another item at 4:45 a.m.  So ankle it is for me.

Road ID Shoe

The product will be in my hands in less than a week and I will be out there safer than ever hitting the roads by foot and bike in Austin.  It is truly a shame that it took the loss of a close friend to bring me to this point.  I still find it hard to believe that I won’t see Scott at IBM this fall or at the Resolution Run on New Years Day, the 3M Half Marathon in January or any of the dozens of road races we typically competed in together every year.

I have a lot of great reminders and memories of Scott Birk, but now when I cross an intersection and triple look for cars coming in each direction I’ll have a reminder strapped around my ankle of just how lucky I am to be out there doing what I love to do.

If you haven’t gotten a Road ID yet, please do so.  The folks at Road ID were actually kind enough to send me an e-mail message today confirming my order and offering a discount coupon for my friends who want to order one of their products.

Good marketing on their part of course.

Just click:

Or you can enter the coupon code of:  ThanksJoseph8148257

Happy trails guys – Be safe out there.

  1. Cortney says:

    I love mine! It says, FINISH IT! on the last line. 🙂

  2. Jodi says:

    Thanks Joe! I just ordered mine! Last line of course is: Don’t quit!!

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