KEEPING YOU SAFE AND SEEN
This is called Our Story because there is a beginning, middle and end. If you don't fancy that, check out the bits in bold and you can have the short version.
I am Tom Lawton. I am not a professional athlete. I have never been in the Olympics.
I am just someone who enjoys the feeling of freedom you get from running. I love it. The time to think, or not depending on my mood. Wind whipping my face and listening to my feet pounding the pavement. A tool to keep my body and mind on a healthy path.
Don't get me wrong there are days when just getting my kit on feels like a big ask. But, I never regret getting out there.
One particular night, I was on an evening run. I like going at that time because I can destress from the day and it fits around the kids. This was towards the end of autumn. And I felt like Forrest Gump. I just kept on running and running.
No pressure. The only thing I race against is the setting sun.
That was getting earlier and earlier. The nights were drawing in towards the winter months, and I was having to think about changing my routine. I live in the countryside, where the pavements don't have streetlights.
Running on or next to the road, cars whip by like they are in Formula 1. They almost blow you over.
The darker it got, the more dangerous it was to try and follow my normal running times. This left me the options of either disrupting my family to go earlier or having to give up my ritual for 6 months of the year. Neither appealed. I started to think about what it would mean to keep to my routine, no matter the time of year.
My biggest worries were my vulnerability and increased risk of being in a car accident. And it is a fear I found my running buddies shared.
Sure we had used safety lights, but found they often broke easily. Or weren't very bright and had expensive batteries that always seemed to run out at the worst times.
I am a keen environmentalist. Always trying to do my bit to be better for the planet, and batteries always sit at odds for me because by their nature they are unrecyclable. There didn't seem to be any good alternative options to buy.
So, it got me thinking. I wondered if there were a way we could use some of the energy we use running to power lights that would keep us safe.
Over the following weeks, as the sun set earlier, the problem became more of a challenge. I set to research a solution. I made lots of prototypes and consulted an expert engineer or two.
I wanted to design something that was bright enough to keep me seen in the dark and in miserable weather. It needed to be sensitive to small movements, so pace didn't matter and something that lasted a long time.
Comfort was key. It had to be lightweight, discreet and robust, so it wouldn't be felt when worn and would last far longer than anything else available.
After several months I perfected the product. I called it the Million Mile Light® because I designed it to last, well, a million miles. It's so simple. Just grab, clip and go.
It let's us be seen for the runners we are, whilst being powered by our motion using the Battery Free™ technology. And was so innovative it won the Runner's World Award for Best Accessory.
It will never give up. And neither have we. We continue to innovate on the original model, creating an improved next generation version. We also look at other ways we can use the technology.