John O'Regan's Blog. Training, Travelling, Running and Racing.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I can run but I can't hide
I've started using a 'Spot Me' satellite messenger thanks to the Great Outdoors which allows family and friends to track my location anywhere in the world. I'll be testing the unit over the next few weeks to familiarlise myself with it's use starting with the Mobile Marathon Relay for the Jack & Jill Foundation starting on Friday 07th August. Later this week i'll post a link so you can check out the unit in use.
Although I say I'm testing the Spot Me it's really a tried and tested unit and is one of the compulsory items supplied and carried by competitors in the Yukon Arctic Ultra a race which I took part in back in 2005 (100 Mile category).
As well as finding a user's location the 'Spot Me' also makes it possible to follow user's adventures via Google Maps tracking a route in real time. But most importantly, in times of need, a user can request assistance from family / friends or from an Inernational 911 Emergency Response Centre which will direct help to an exact location if requested.
I have on ocassion carried an emergency transmitter when travelling in an extreme environment which is good for one use only although it will be replaced if used in a real emergency. These units can cost a few thousand euro but for less than €200 and a yearly registration of around €100 the Spot Me is now making this technology more accesible and adding a fun element to something that can be quite serious.
An obvious use which springs to mind would be for the parent of a teenager heading off on a backpacking trip for a few months. The Spot Me is an inexpensive way of knowing where they are and where they've been.