Mike Clyne interview with PJ Rabice, Head of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships for Road ID
PJ, thanks for your time. I have been a Road ID user for over a year now but would like your help in being able to describe Road ID in less than 20 words.
I would say ‘Road ID is the premier emergency identification provider for outdoor enthusiasts’
Now give us the longer version!
Well, Road ID makes emergency ID products for your wrist, ankle, neck and shoe The idea is that you then put your personal information on the ID. There are two different forms - either the Road ID Original which has all of your information on the product or the Road ID Interactive where the product has a link to an Emergency Response Profile (ERP) containing personal information about you. You create the profile in about 5 minutes and then link your serial and pin number from your ID to the profile.
If someone asked you ‘Why do I need a Road ID?’ what would you say to them?
Because no one plans to have an accident and its additional peace of mind for not just you, but family and friends too. Road ID was created in 1999 because there wasn't a product for outdoor or endurance enthusiasts - whether you are coherent or not, Road ID can speak for you. So it can say ‘who do I belong to, who should be contacted, what are my medical conditions, what is my medical history’ and so on. It can make all the difference in the world especially in a time critical situation.
Would carrying a piece of paper with my details or mobile phone be enough?
It is clearly better than nothing and we would always recommend people carry some ID on them. However, paper can get wet, the mobile may be password locked etc. The other advantage with Road ID is that it is on your person and visible to First Responders.
Tell us about the people who founded the business.
The founders are Mike and Edward Wimmer. They started the business in 1999 after an incident where Edward (the son) was training for a marathon. Mike (the father) was concerned about Edward training alone and encouraged him to carry some ID with him. Edward dismissed it and one day while out running had a run-in with a large truck which pushed him into a ditch. Edward then realised Dad was right! They then started the business in their basement taking orders by fax and phone. Both Mike and Edward are very passionate about the mission of the company which is to get people to carry ID. We would all like ID to be as common a piece of kit as running shoes or a bike helmet - we want everyone to understand the importance of it.
Tell us about the people you work with as Road ID ambassadors eg Craig Alexander (two times Ironman World Champion), Levi Leipheimer (Pro Cyclist for Team RadioShack), Dean Karnazes (one of the top ultra runners), Bob Roll (Cycling Legend turned Commentator), Kristian House (Pro Cyclist for Team Rapha Condor Sharp) and most recently you have added George Hincapie (Pro Cyclist for Team BMC). How did this come about? What do they do for you?
This all started because I used to work with Levi. As a cyclist, he was very interested in the product and the concept. He talked with Road ID and ended up becoming our first Brand Ambassador. This then expanded to Bob, Craig and the others. We were keen to identify people who were not only great athletes but also great ambassadors for Road ID, people who believe in the product and the mission.
What are the best Road ID stories you have heard?
The testimonials and stories on our website are a good reflection of the range of feedback we get. One that stands out for me was a guy working in New York as a journalist. He was mid 50’s / early 60’s, wore Road ID dog tags (FIXX ID) and also had a pre existing heart condition. He had a bike accident and when he regained consciousness, in the intensive care unit of the hospital, his wife was there. He said that Road ID saved his life and one reason was that he had a pre-existing stutter and heart condition, and because of his Road ID that information was available to the medical. This ensured they did not think that the stutter was a result of the accident and were aware of his heart medications.
On a slightly lighter note, one of our brand ambassadors, Alison Starnes was competing in a bike race and had an accident. She was left by her team director with the race doctor, who was able to call her Dad who had been waiting at the finish line. As a result, he was able to go to the hospital where she was being transported by helicopter. He arrived there before they did!
The final story I would like to recount to you is about Lucas Euser who rides for Team SpiderTech. He was in Kona last year watching the Ironman and was hit by a car. The first person on the scene was Kate Major (Ironman pro athlete) who is a Road ID wearer. She saw Lucas’ Road ID and then contacted his family (link).
Finally, as Road ID are offering a 10% discount on all Road ID orders for Run247 readers, can you suggest three reasons for them to consider getting a Road ID.
The obvious first one is that it is truly is a smart thing to wear and is an added insurance policy whether racing or training. Secondly, when you consider the amount of money people spend on their sport it dwarfs the cost of a Road ID, and the fact that it could save your life. And finally, Road ID can speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself.
Thank you again for your time and for encouraging everyone to carry ID while racing or training. How can people order Road ID products and get their special Run247 discount?
It’s very easy -go to www.roadid.com; choose your Road ID product; put in the information you want and at the checkout stage enter the code PC5703584TRI247
About the author: Mike Clyne is part of the adidas team at the 2011 Virgin London Marathon.
Inspired into running by the first London Marathon in 1981 Mike then
trained for and completed a local 10 mile fun run in October 1982,
his first half marathon in 1983 and then his first marathon
(Abingdon) in May 1983, aged 16. He continued running and did his
first London marathon in April 1985, in the days when the Isle of
Dogs was very different and the finish was on Westminster Bridge.
To date Mike has completed 10 Ironmans (setting a PB at IM Regensburg
2011), 12 half IM's, 21 marathons of which 12 are London. Mike has
been a London Pacer for 11 min mile group in 2007 and 2009.
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