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5387 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2010 12:25 PM by trapp
kmac821 Pro 122 posts since
Oct 13, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 8, 2010 12:16 PM

iPods during races--who has done it? who has gotten in trouble for it?

Hi all, I am running my first big race (big to me) at the end of February, the Hyannis Half Marathon. I know it is against USATF rules to use headphones/iPods/MP3 players, but I was curious about what people have actually seen at races and/or if anyone has experiences with these? I don't make my music loud, I can always hear cars and other people, so I'm not worried about being a danger to myself or anyone around me, but I do enjoy having the music to temporarily relieve my mind of the millions of questions in my head. I'm not about to place in the top three for any age/gender division so I"m not worried about being DQed, but I also don't want to have a bad first half experience!

 

Help? Any experiences or stories you have are helpful! Thanks!

--Katie





Personal Records:

4/18/10: BAA 5K, Boston, 28/219 division, 858/4329 overall, 24:23, 7:51 pace

9/5/10: Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon, 2380/14767, Div: 90/908, Gender: 636/8380, 1:53:14, 8:39 pace
10/17/10: BayState Marathon, 4:09:57, 9:33 pace

  • teamheard Rookie 2 posts since
    Nov 6, 2009

    Hi,

    I have ran two half marathons, recently where we all were using Ipod's.  I didn't see anything in any of the race packets that said otherwise.  I find I need the music to help me get motivated as I am trying to get over the hump to get through the end of the race.  Hearing a great song helps me push through and go faster. The only problem I did have was that at the end of the race with as sweaty as I was my ipod was starting to slip out and at some point turned off.

    Good luck in your race,
    teamheard

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    USATF changed their rules last year. It is now up to race directors whether or not to impose/enforce a headphone ban. If your race materials don't specifically ban headphones, you're fine.

     

    In practice, most races don't enforce bans except among those who are potential overall or age-group winners.

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • Snowman79 Legend 483 posts since
    May 16, 2009

    Usually races that ban "headphones" don't enforce it but will enforce it to award winners.  If you get an age award, they will DQ you and it will go to the next person.  Just realize that if you signed up for a race with a headphone ban, you can't be shocked if they want to get strict and remove you from the finishers.  Its just highly unlikely they would enforce the ban to that level.





    I will outrun the storm and run faster than horses.

  • TRex Runner Pro 64 posts since
    Jan 11, 2010

    A lot of people think they can not live without their music when it is race day, but it ends up you really do not need it especially in larger races. You have the people on the sides cheering, you have the adrenaline pumping, you have other runners to talk to, and you have the sights and sounds of the area you run in.

     

    Running in a race is so much different than the grinding training miles on the same paths you run every day.

     

    If it is a smaller race with less crowds, you may need it.

     

    Eric





    Race Schedule for 2010:

    National Half Marathon - 03/20 - 1:44:51

    Frederick Marathon - 05/02 - 4:34:45 [bad heat!]

    Virginia Beach RNR 1/2 Marathon - 09/05 - 1:43:45

    Baltimore Marathon - 10/16 - 3:46:55

    Amish Half - 11/06 - 1:44:17

    Fort Meade Turkey Trot - 11/13 - 20:43

  • zepcrmc Expert 45 posts since
    May 13, 2009

    I ran my first full last October, had trainined for 4 months with music but decided to follow the rules and run without. There where many wearing headphones but I found the crowd and other runners enough to keep me going the 26.2 miles

  • xsmasher Rookie 3 posts since
    Mar 1, 2010

    I ran some races in CT last year that were very strict about headphone use - they had spotters on the route that would record your bib number if you were wearing headphones. Then the organizers would not only DQ you from the top spots, but they would remove your time entirely from the printed list at the end of the race. You wouldn't know where you placed in at all in your gender or age bracket, or even what your time was at all.

     

    I saw some people who wore headphones anyway, despite warnings not to, and some of those were very disappointed that they got busted and their time was removed.

     

    For myself I always run with headphones on my daily runs; however I did not use headphones in any of the races and I did not miss it at all, so give it a shot, you may be surprised.

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    xsmasher wrote:

     

    I ran some races in CT last year that were very strict about headphone use - they had spotters on the route that would record your bib number if you were wearing headphones. Then the organizers would not only DQ you from the top spots, but they would remove your time entirely from the printed list at the end of the race. You wouldn't know where you placed in at all in your gender or age bracket, or even what your time was at all.

     

    I saw some people who wore headphones anyway, despite warnings not to, and some of those were very disappointed that they got busted and their time was removed.

     

    For myself I always run with headphones on my daily runs; however I did not use headphones in any of the races and I did not miss it at all, so give it a shot, you may be surprised.

    I think that is carrying it a little too far!  Were these competitive BQ events sponsored by a track club?  I have run countless races and never seen a headphone ban enforced. (Of course I am not a contender, either, so I don't worry about being DQ'd for my age group award.)  Although I am not saying I think we should all just flaunt the rules, I still think that tossing out the results of everyone who wears headphones - back in the pack, especially - is mean spirited and extreme.  For that reason, I'd probably just pass up those races next time.  When they find their attendance drops because of their draconian enforcement, they might reconsider.  Unless it is a seriously competitive event, or a race held in an area where using headphones can pose a danger (lots of traffic whizzing by the runners, for example) I don't see why they have to make it such an issue.





  • trapp Rookie 8 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    You need to understand why a race would ban headphones.  USATF always banned them because of the competitive edge headphones can provide by listening to something with a consistent beat, say 80 bpm.  It acts as a pacer.  That still applies to the elite field of a race, but has been amended to give the race director's the discretion to decide if they chose to ban them.  But that's never been the reason races ban them, it was just a convenient excuse that they're only holding up the USATF ban.  The real reason is that races that allow headphones have to pay higher insurance rates.  So RD's are forced to decide between banning them (which affects a large portion of runners) or increasing entry fees to cover the costs (which affects every runner).  The bottom line is it's your decision which race to run, but not which rules you need to follow.  If a race bans them, choose a different race.  If enough people stay away, like Grandma's marathon last year, races will lift the ban.  But if the RD made the decision to ban them, respect it.  If somehow there was an incident with somebody wearing headphones in a race that they were banned, regardless of who was at fault, it's not the insurance company that will be paying out the damages.  It will be the race and the individual getting sued.

  • xsmasher Rookie 3 posts since
    Mar 1, 2010

    I'm new to organized races, so I don't know what BQ is. It was a road race on a USATF certified course, with Electronic Chip Timing. The roads were not closed, so I can understand the safety issue.

     

    Trapp, your insurance company info seems sound. That would certainly explain their strict enforcement.

  • trapp Rookie 8 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    BQ is short for Boston Qualifying.  To qualify for the Boston marathon, you have to finish a marathon within their time restrictions (based on age and sex), on a course that is certified.  But the certification only verifies that the distance is accurate.  BQ'ing has nothing to do with the headphone debate, in fact the Boston marathon doesn't ban them.

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