Take a lesson from tragic deaths and injuries of triathletes or anyone else out for an innocent jog that didn’t come home as safe as they left. Recently in Kansas City, a young and well accomplished runner, youth pastor, husband, father to a 13 month old and a good friend to many died of suspected natural causes while out for a quick evening summer run. Why he died isn’t as important as how long it took to find him and the anguish felt by literally thousands while trying to find him. Chad Rogers went missing on a Monday night and was found the following Friday, just over 2 miles from home in a portable restroom.
Hundreds of volunteers, law enforcement, family, friends and strangers showed up each day to try and find Chad. They hunted in heavily wooded areas. They suggested trying to find out from his running watch where he last was, but it wasn’t a GPS enabled watch and he didn’t have it with him. Chad left for his run without a phone, no GPS devices and really no way for anyone to find him if he needed help.
In this day and age of smart phones, tracker devices and athlete ID systems there’s really no reason why a runner or cyclist should be out without a way to be found or identified. Phone apps and GPS can be turned off and on for privacy. Athlete tracking devices are plentiful as well that do not require a phone for the athlete to use. ID systems can attach most anywhere on an athlete without causing discomfort. There’s no run or ride short enough to justify not taking precautions.
We compiled a list of phone apps and ID systems that we have used, reviewed or will review for you to consider. Even if you don’t find our list appealing, please search out something to keep you as safe as possible while out pounding the pavement. It may not be a truck that runs you off the road, it may be your own body and an enlarged heart condition that sidelines you. With the push of a button, you could have help on the way and it could save your life.
Life360 - GPS Tracking Pro
Open Life360 provides a glance at your private family map of those that have accepted to be in your circle within the app. Anyone not in your circle will not be able to see your location. You can instantly know where everyone is where they’re supposed to be. Users can be tracked on other smart phones or on computers.
Let your family and friends know that everything is okay with a simple check in from the settings section. No need to remember to send a text or call. Sign up for alerts and get an automatic text, email or app alert when you are others reach their destination or get home.
Use the FamilyChannel feature to let everyone in your family know what’s up, all at once with messages about your status.
One touch emergency alert sends distress text, call and alert to all people in your circle.
Shows registered offenders in your area.
Easy to setup and use and be on the move within 5 minutes of installation.
There is no subscription fee to track your devices.
There is no subscription fee to track your devices.
You can track multiple devices in your account. All your devices are shown in the same place
Location data for your device is available in our web site real-time.
You will receive notification email when your tracked device exits or enters the geo-fence. Use this function to alert you when people get home. Geo-fencing can be set up in the web site.
You can publish your tracks through URLs or downloadable KML files. You can embed your tracks in your own website or Facebook.
You can download your tracks in HTML or CSV (Excel) file format and include mileage calculation.
Once the app starts, GPS Tracker continues to run, even after the phone reboots. It runs quietly in the background and requires no human interaction, so users will need to be aware if they want to turn it off and on.
Location data is uploaded to their secured server. When internet is temporarily unavailable, location data is cached (encrypted) in the iPhone. It resumes uploading when internet becomes available again.
They pretty much pioneered the portable ID system for athletes and the like. The company was started in 1999 by Mike and Edward Wimmer. At the moment, they have ID products that go on your wrists, ankles, shoes, dogs and more. They are venturing into apparel and other arenas aside from ID’s, but there was little around before Road ID.
The Road ID systems are bands with a metal ID tag that can be laser engraved with your emergency contact information with up to six lines. Consumers can put anything from their name, address, emergency contacts and allergies. All important information if you find yourself unable to communicate and injured in emergency care.
Road ID comes in various colors to match your gear or make a statement.
GO>ID can be worn wherever you want. It can go on your watch, on your shoe, on your backpack, your zipper pull, cell phone or a lot of other places. They do not provide a strap as Road ID.
The GO>ID is more obvious and stands out. The unique alert tab lets first providers know you have important information for them. It’s round and a little larger than the other ID systems and allows for printing of up to 250 characters for ID and emergency information.
One unique aspect that sets the GO>ID comes with a kit for buyers to create their own tags at home on laser printers. There is no need to go back to GO>ID to engrave new tags if you’re info changes. Just pull up the kit and reprint.
The GO>ID comes in several colors and materials and the lightest weighs less than a sheet of paper (1oz).
EMT review coming soon!
1BandID attaches to your watch, GPS or heart rate monitor band. They do not provide a separate strap that goes around an athletes wrist or ankle, they connect to gear most athletes are already using. Athletes do need to specify types of watch bands they are using to make sure the 1BandID will fit and not come off.
The attachment strap is neoprene instead of nylon so it doesn't absorb water.
The tag is stainless steel tag and holds up to 6 lines of contact and medical information.
Like others, 1BandID comes in various colors to match your gear or make a statement.
1Band ID is also made in the USA.
EMT reviewed the 1BandID HERE back in February of 2012.
Ryan Falkenrath is a married father of two young kids, owner of two dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. He writes the blog falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com, Endurance Sports Examiner and runs the Man Vs Triathlon project while participating in multisport events since 2001 from 5k's to Half Ironmans (soon to be Ironman distance in 2013). Contact Ryan at: email@example.com or follow him on @TriJayhawkRyan.