UNC Health Care

Runners’ Must-Have: Road ID

Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of GarnerPost by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who was so excited for her daughter who was training for her first marathon.  I love hearing about first timers and was eager to listen to her share her daughter’s training experiences.  She did have one major concern and that was the fact that on most weekday runs, her daughter trained alone and because of her job, was running in the dark.  As a runner, running solo on weekdays is certainly something that most of us can relate too since we see usually see our training groups on weekends only.

Man running in a city on the street
Running in traffic can be dangerous.

Her concern for her daughter’s safety took me back 6 years when I was traveling with high school students through Europe.  In order to get my runs in, I had to leave at the crack of dawn before the students arose for breakfast and that meant running alone.  After all, who could resist the opportunity to run along the Seine River in Paris, through the Black Forest in Germany or a quaint Swiss village among the Alps?  Not me. I loved it.

Having grown up in an urban area, I never threw caution to the wind while running but there was one thing that I never carried with me and that was identification.  On this particular journey through Europe, I traveled with three wonderful teachers who were a bit nervous about me running alone in foreign countries.  One of them shared a story with me about her sister-in-law who was also a runner.  Tragically, she was struck by a car while running alone and she was not carrying identification.  Before her roommate or family realized that she was missing, she passed away.  Needless to say, the family was devastated.  My friend encouraged me to buy a Road ID and as soon as we returned to the USA, I did.

So what is a Road ID?  It is easy-to-carry identification for anyone who spends time outdoors.

So what is a Road ID?  It is easy-to-carry identification for anyone who spends time outdoors.  If you are involved in an accident and incapacitated, family members and friends can be contacted because in addition to carrying your name, you will be carrying the names and telephone numbers of family or friends on your wrist, ankle, shoe or around your neck.

RoadId with complete athlete information
RoadId with complete information, including incentive statement

I have all but the shoe ID and I keep the Fixx necklace ID which looks like military dog tags on 24/7.  I keep my ankle ID in my gym bag.  I really like the Fixx ID which looks like military dog tags.  It’s roomy enough to add your favorite slogan in addition to your contact information.  The other side can be engraved with any type of logo you can imagine.  I have the Ironman MDot on the back of mine.

One freebie that Road ID offers is the Road ID App.  You can create a lock screen for your smart phone to include all of the vital contact information that you have on the physical IDs.  It even has a really cool e-crumb option to let family or friends know that you are on a training run or ride.

So, will a Road ID save your life? Perhaps not, but it can give loved ones some peace of mind.  You certainly don’t have to rely on a Road ID.  You can carry another form of identification with you.  My wife Angie travels quite a bit and before she leaves home, I always make sure she has her Road ID.  Peace of mind is so important.  So before that next outdoor outing, take some identification with you or make sure you have your Road ID.  If not for you, do it for your family and friends.  By the way, my friend ordered one for her daughter as soon as we finished talking.