The Importance of I.D Braclets

One of the things l love about running is the isolation.  It’s just you, your running gear, the streets (or gym) and your thoughts. Best free therapy ever. But this same isolation, can also be a recipe for life threatening conditions.

When l go running, l usually just bring my keys with me. I don’t bring my phone, as l’m afraid of it getting wet or breaking it. Thus if something untowards was to happen to me, l would have no means of getting help.

Much worrying, is the fact that without any form of identification, the authorities would have no way of notifying my love ones of my whereabouts, or knowing any vital medical information that could influence what medication or drugs l could or couldn’t consume.

The following story sums up perfectly what could happen:


Recently l purchased a identification bracelet, which l wear when l run.

The company on question is Tag Nix, a UK company. You visit their website, choose your bracelet colour and design, and the info you want engraved onto your I.D display. I chose my name, location, telephone number, and medical condition.  

If you do one thing this year, please purchase or carry some form of I.D with you on your next run or bike ride. Your family, friends and the authorities will thank you for it.



Why Black Men Run



I have been running since 1999, and since that time, l have also entered numerous 10k and 5k races. The one thing that l have noticed when l have been hitting the pavements, at the start line, or even reading running blogs, is the lack of a black presence. Why should this matter? After all we are all people? Why be divisive?

Well, to my mind there are a number of reasons why institutions like Black men run are very important.  Firstly they encourage people of colour to become active, and thus live longer healthier lives. After leaving school, getting jobs, careers, families, alot of black men become inactive. Diabetes, obese, heart problems are at alarming rates within the black community, to the point that l have been to quite a few funerals of ex class mates.

Secondly, they encourage a sense of fellowship that has sadly been lost within the black community, especially among black men. Black women seem to naturally gravitate to a sense of solidarity and support, whereby black men have in the past, been suspicious and have a sense of not belonging especially  young men, with no father figure in their lives.

In July 2013, on the back of Black Girls Run, Ed Walton and Jason Russell ( and l believe Terry Greasham) established Black Men Run, in Atlanta Georgia. The aim was to encourage black men, of all ages and abilities, to meet up and run, fellowship, encourage, enter races, and to promote a healthier lifestyle. As of writing this piece, numerous american cities have a black men run chapter, as well as international cities, like London, Paris, and l believe, China. They have a website ( where advise on how to set up a chapter for your town or city, plus running gear to promote and rep the movement is available. They have featured in media publications, TV shows, and have been endorsed by celebrities like Kevin Hart, Kool Moe Dee and Tyler Perry.

Lastly, like any good organisation, B.M.R is an inclusive body, that welcomes any one that is supportive of their goals to encourage more black men to be active.

For more information please go to the website listed above, or to facebook, Instagram, twitter or Pinterest. You can find me on Instagram (derrickerrolj)

How Running Races humbled Me.

Hey. I hope this finds you well.

l just wanted to give my general thoughts on races, based on my own experience, and how running humbled me .

I came to running late in life, as a way to keep the weight off, as l had given up football ( well l suffered a snapped cruciate ligament) I used to run with my wife, but she soon tired of it, whilst I enjoyed the endorphin rush that running produced. Initially l ran with no watch or music, for about 20 minutes, after work. Encouraged by a work college, who was a coach in his spare time, l trained for the  2004 Nike run in Hyde Park. Alas, l did not get in. I should also add that  I was weight training at this time, to gain size, and my running training consisted of going as fast as l could, for 4 miles three times a week.

Fortunately I was able to enter the 2005 Nike 10k, in Victoria Park, Hackey. The (un)realistic aim, was to run it in 50 mins. I assumed that as I came from a football background, and was a frequent visitor to the gym, it would be easy. This race humbled me. I did it in 58:13 secs. And l did not enjoy it. By nature l am competitive, but I didn’t have the tools to run this race fast. My lack of speed work, and hill sprints, and fartleks, meant that I could, at best, do, on average, a 09:30 mile splits.

The desire and pressure I placed on myself to hit my race time, meant l did not enjoy the experience. But being competitive I wanted to to it again. So the following year l signed up for the 2006 Nike ‘North V South London 10k’. I had not changed my training, and was still doing weights, for size, and not to aid my running. I decided that l wanted to enjoy the race, without the self imposed pressure l normally placed upon myself. So l took it easy, and did it in 1 hour and 1 minute. Whilst l was happy with my decision to do so, the competitive part of me was disappointed with the time.

In between these races Nike (who do alot for running and encouraging people to take up the sport) hosted a 5k run in Victoria Park. Again l was humbled, as older fitter runners left me in their wake. 27 mins was my time.

I took a break after this, as a combination of my lack of a good time, shyness of running races on my own, discouraged me. In 2009/2010, I entered the Newham 10k ( this was before the Olympic stadium was built and incorporated in this race) I entered with mysister-in-law, and we ran together at the start, but I soon pushed on by myself.  My ego took another hit as men and women older and in all shapes and sizes, left me, as l struggled. The one good thing to come out of this race was that I P.B, in a time of 57 mins 13 seconds. Again, l was disappointed, as I wasn’t running the times I wanted to.

Due to a lack of enjoyment, and a lack of cash, that was my last race. In hindsight, l didn’t respect the distance, or understand the training needed to meet my aims and targets. It would take another  4 years for things to change.

Are you competitive, race oriented runner, or more of a casual run for pleasure person?