The Free App Every Philly Runner Should Have

The new Road ID app lets your family and friends keep tabs on where you're running.

I’ve seen the Road ID bracelets and shoe tags at lots of Philly races, but now the company that makes the athlete ID products—which are engraved with your name as well as info for a few emergency contacts—is going one step further with a free app for iPhone that shows loved ones, in real time, where you’re running, biking, hiking—whatever.

Here’s how it works: When you head out for a run, the app will send a text message to up to five preselected contacts from your phone list (I would choose my hubby, natch), telling them that you’re hitting the road. It includes a link, called an ecrumb, for them to track your movement in real time, so they know exactly where you are at all times. You can even enable something called a Stationary Alert, which will buzz them any time you haven’t moved from a location for more than five minutes. (The implication, of course, is that there’s something wrong.) The app also includes a special lock screen that you can set with your name, and the name and contact info of someone to reach in case of an emergency.

In addition to making running a little safer, the Road ID app could be useful at a marathon or other race, when your parents or spouse or friends or coworkers want to cheer you on or meet up afterwards—they’ll know exactly where to find you. Useful, yes?

Schuyler Nunn, owner of Indigo Schuy fitness wear boutique in Chestnut Hill, was actually the one who tipped me off to this new app, which was just released earlier this month. She said she took it out for test drive yesterday and loved it. “My hubby could follow me along the entire run,” she said. “It’s very cool and reassuring to know he knows where I am, if needed.”

Incidentally, you can ask Schuy all about it at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon info session she’s hosting tonight at her shop, where a trainer and running coach will answer all your running questions. The event kicks off at 7.