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The Running Gear Most People Forget

If you injure yourself or some bodily malfunction occurs during a run and you are unable to communicate, do you have a means to identify yourself?

This is something I have rarely thought about until recently after participating in a marathon in which a young woman collapsed on the course and later died at a nearby hospital. This clearly demonstrated the frailty of life and stuff can happen regardless of how healthy, fit, and careful we are.

For the benefit of yourself, family, friends, and the people trying to help you in an emergency situation, we all need to carry some form of identification on our bodies. With the options available ranging from free to low-cost, there are no excuses. Get it done!

Free Way to Identify Yourself

There is an item that many people have in their lives already that could help in an emergency situation.

  • Driver’s License – Name, address, and maybe some special medical information. All good stuff. The ability to carry this on you will depend on having a pocket in your running clothes or gear. If the driver’s license has a chance to get wet due to water or sweat you may want to put it in a plastic baggie or sleeve to protect it.

Low Cost Ways to Identify Yourself

Here are some low-cost personal identification products that are created for the runner and active lifestyle enthusiasts.

  • Smart ID – A portable shoe-attached ID label system that contains contact and emergency information. By looking at the how-to page it appears to be a do-it-yourself-er product where you write in your personal information on the template. The Smart ID appears to attach to a shoe by sliding under a couple shoe laces and snap it close.
  • Go Wallet – A portable shoe-attached ID pocket system that can attach to your shoes with a Velcro strap. Since it is a little pocket, you could also put a key, money, as well as your identification/emergency information. The entire pocket appears to be a size that would cover much of your shoe laces. (Update 5/7/09: Poor quality.)
  • Runner’s ID – A portable plastic ID tag system that can be snapped to a shoe, a neck chain, or anything in which a metal key ring (included with the tag) can attach to. The customizable plastic tag is 1+1/8 inches wide and 3 inches long. They also are customizable and have available six lines for identification/emergency information along with a choice of graphics (or submit your own).
  • Road ID – A portable ID tag system with products for the wrist, shoe, ankle, and a neck chain. They also have a portable shoe pocket system. All products have multiple color choices and most include 3M reflective stripes to improve your visibility in low light conditions. Road ID includes a unique optional subscription feature called Road ID Interactive in which you create a online emergency response profile that contains all the detailed personal information that would be beneficial for emergency personnel. This information goes way beyond what can be put on a little tag. Road ID also donates a portion of every purchase to a charity that you select (from 5 or so). Kind of cool!

All of the above methods appear to be a useful and quality products but I recently bought the Road ID Wrist ID and have been very happy with it.

Here are a couple pics of the ID.

Wrist ID from above.

Wrist ID from above.

Wrist ID Adjustable Strap

Wrist ID Adjustable Strap.

This stuff isn’t rocket science but the Wrist ID is light weight and I don’t even realize it is on except for the random visual flash of the blue strap.The primary information I included on the ID is name, city/state, home phone, cell phone, and friend phone (Hi TJ!).

The biggest challenge with using an ID that isn’t already attached to your shoes is remembering to put it on. After a few weeks this should be habit.

Road ID was also kind enough to provide a $1 off coupon for any Road ID order until 4/29/09. (limited to 20 uses) To take advantage of this offer use Coupon Number: ThanksDavid472577 .

Act Now

While this stuff is fresh in your mind, spend a few minutes to decide how you are going to carry identification information with you during your next run. Because you are going to carry something, right?

If it’s your driver’s license – use it!

If you like one of the products listed above – buy it and use it!

If you have another way – do it!

Please use something.

If you know of other products or methods please share by adding a comment below. We could all benefit.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

One Response to “The Running Gear Most People Forget”

  1. on 14 Jun 2013 at 1:09 pm running bob

    I found a machine at the front entrance to Wall Mart. For five dollars you
    Can engrave a nice dog tag with all your info. I call it my spatter tag, about same size as dog tag . Works fine for me.