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Christopher Russell presents the two sides of the growing conflict between the running establishment and music listeners: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/iPod_Conflict_Brews_in_Racing.htm
Social Media Specialist | Endurance Sports
I don't think people should be wearing iPods, its a saftey issue. A race offical may need to speak to you, plus most races aren't closed courses, you could get hit by a car, or the car might swerve (because the iPod wearer didn't hear, and didn't move) and actually hit a non iPod wearer. You have to be paying attention, or you endanger everyone in the race.
I agree, definitely a safety issue. Chicago Marathon could be an example; they closed the course yet people continued to run. Their safety was at risk and those who were listening to music could not hear important race announcements. Thanks for your participation!
Social Media Specialist | Endurance Sports
I can't think of any sports where you can wear headphones/ipods. Can you? In my opinion, running should be like the majority of other sports where you train with your headphones/ipod, but come go time...it's just you out there. I also agree that it is a huge safety issue as it would be in any sport, which is probably why I can't recall any sports that allow headphones/ipods.
If we are worried about hearing announcements while running then what do the deaf do? We have a set of eyes, and if you pay attention and now the rulews/etiquette of running, ie when passing to pass on the left, face oncoming traffic when running, then what's the problem? Do we listen to music on the course, look for our family and friends in the crowd, listen to music on the sides of the road in Rock n Roll marathons. Im even sure there have been blind running the races, I recall the Italian who ran the Iron Man in Hawaii, along side a partner, is this an insurance issue? There is so much money being generated out there in these events. It's like saying it is illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving? No problems, only for those that feel they are at risk, let each individual run at there own risk, ie like the ones that decide to run in costumes.
Let's face it; this argument is more about the personal preference of the "elite" runner's than anything having to do with the safety of runners. It reminds me of the rule that requires professional golfers to wear long pants in 100 plus degree heat in Texas for the "good of the game". This is about running purists who believe it takes away from the sport and perhaps lowers the standard to a recreational activity. I like to believe we are all competing, whether it is for a top three finish or a Personal Record; regardless of who is wearing an iPod.
As far as a runners safety, Wilmpete, when that car swerves at runners wearing iPods during a race and all of the non-iPod runners dash gracefully out of the way, do you really think the iPod runners are going to just continue running straight ahead listening to their music? No, they/we will likely hear the car and react the same as you because we are used to running and training on roads and listening and watching for vehicles wearing our iPods. If we don't hear the car right away we'll be reacting to what is happening around us; we are not blind after all.
I've been running for many years and witnessed runners who were hurt during races that had nothing to do with wearing iPods and everything to do with bad weather and road conditions. I live in the Northeast where there are races year-round. I've participated in races with snow and ice and driving rain and seen runners hurt during races. If the USATF really cared about a runner's safety they wouldn't allow races in bad conditions; but races go on because most of us train in these types of conditions. I have no issue with proceeding with the race, race directors and volunteers have spent a lot of time setting up the race; and since most races have a charity associated to the race, the charity is counting on the proceeds.
Active Sara, golf is at least ONE sport that does not prohibit a player from using headphones, earplugs, etc during a stipulated round of golf provided they do not communicate information on the conditions (such as weather) which are relevant to his play or otherwise assist the player in his play. The USGA does not seem too worried about golfers not being able to hear someone yell "fore" or avoid being hit by a golf cart; odds seem more likely for that to occur than the scenarios the non-iPod camp seem to dream up. Race car drivers are permitted to wear headphones as do football coaches; and they are allowed in fishing. I'm certain they are also not banned in other sports, but rather, athletes choose not to wear iPods during competition so they can hear their teammates or perhaps another runner closing in; something not necessary for those of us not in the front of the race.
But I do understand these devices have been banned by the USATF and do plan to comply with the rule, as much as I disagree with it, by not running any further road races. I've already passed up several half-marathons I've run for years this past fall and have accepted to participating in virtual runs with other Nike Plus runners. I'm nearly 47 and have enjoyed running road races for many years; I've enjoyed meeting other runners, donating to local charities that sponsor these races and collecting loads of shirts.
However, I am also hopeful that Nike, Apple and other runners can help change the USATF members to overturn this rule in the future. Much like baseball purists who were against Major League Baseball adding a third division to the National and American Leagues and a wild card team from each division to expand the baseball playoffs, the baseball commissioner proceeded with the change for the good of the game (and perhaps more revenue); change can be good. Inclusion not exclusion.
My two cents.
I did a sprint triathlon a few weeks ago, and at the pre-race meeting, several people were horrified to hear that they couldn't wear their iPods -- on the BIKE COURSE!!!! Now, this race was really well-run, but it also involved a three-loop bike course on city streets, with only one traffic lane closed. In addition, it was very bumpy in parts, and on race day, the wind was quite strong. Even without headphones, I was startled by several fast but not particularly polite folks who didn't make a sound as they approached. Now, imagine this scenario if I'd had my Shuffle clipped to my shirt.
The danger factor might be slightly lower for running races, but I see it more as a principle thing: Why are you running a race, if not for the experience of running with, and competing against, a group of people? I wouldn't attempt a training run longer than about 3 miles without either a human training partner or my iPod, and I certainly gather lots of late-workout strength from the perfect song. But it's never even occurred to me to run a race with headphones on. I love the camaraderie of racing, not to mention to weird competitive spurts that it inspires. When everyone is listening to their own personal soundtrack, I think that something is lost from the racing experience, be it the spontaneous celebrations that erupt when passing a mile marker or just the casual comments runners make to one another. Races are an experience, and I'm sad for those who choose to listen to "Eye of the Tiger" for the umpteenth time over soaking in the atmosphere of the race.
P.S. I have to admit that I was amused that Katie Holmes proudly carried an MP3 player of some sort for the NYC Marathon, only days after the NY Times wrote the long story about the USATF ban...maybe I missed it, but none of the (extensive) coverage of her run seemed to mention it...
When did running become so exclusive and snooty. I have always thought the great thing about the sport is it includes everyone. Even those of us that are not competitive. I run for me, and I enjoy my IPOD. It lets me race against myself. When has anyone ever been hurt wearing an IPOD? I have never read an article about some poor runner running off a cliff because they missed a pre-race announcement, let's face it those of us in the back never hear them anyway.
When I run with my IPOD, I have no problem hearing people around me or cars. I do it everyday on buys roads and have never even been close to being hit. I agree this is simply the sport getting snooty. Move on and tell the insurance companies to shove it. By the way I run in races with no IPOD rules all the time. So do you. Haven't you noticed there are hundreds of IPOD's out there anyway. Seems independent spirit comes with the sport.
iPod (or, I guess, headphone) wearing only becomes a safety issue when people turn up the volume too high -- as a couple people have noted, it's easy enough to listen to music at a lower volume and also hear race officials / traffic / cows mooing / other runners. Personally, I like downloading race-specific playlists -- for a half marathon named for a Norwegian runner, I found a bunch of Norwegian songs which were really fun to run to ... even if I couldn't understand a word. And then, of course, the music / beat really helps when I start to get very tired.
Races that do not allow headphones are generally pretty clear about this ahead of time, so while it's one thing to deliberately flaunt the regulations (I'm not passing judgment -- I like my music too), there's no reason why anyone should ever be surprised by a headphone ban.
Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.
As far as Chicago goes, give me a break! The people who continued continued on because they had trained for months, spent hundreds of dollars to enter and travel to the race. They continued on because it was their race and they felt prepared to do it, not because they didn't hear the announcements. You think they didn't see all the commotion too? No, the wanted to stay in the race!
iPods being banned is ridiculous. An above post makes the complete argument in that those with earing disabilities are allowed to enter races...as they should! Regarding the social aspect, as a recreational runner, some folks just don't want to have a conversation with me during a road race/run. Most of us recreational runners DO run with/train with iPods or similar devices and use music as one of their motivational techniques. Personally, I hear traffic just fine when running with my iPod and yes, I do pay very close attention to my surroundings when I'm jamming to OK GO on a run. I think it should be a personal choice. Besides, if a race course is THAT dangerous to where limited hearing is such a cause for concern, perhaps race organizers need to re-evaluate their plan.
Are you kidding???? No iPods while running??? I have run many races (as do the deaf) and have not missed one announcement. Why? Because I'm not an idiot. I pay attention...When I see an official gesturing to me or others, I simply remove an earbud...and I listen...Just because runners are wearing an iPod doesn't mean we're not paying attention...I LOVE to listen to music while I'm running. It motivates me and helps me keep a certain pace...it's also enjoyable. We are all different, fellow runners. Let's be respectful of eachothers differences and stop trying to turn this into something it's not...a safety issue. So until you tell the deaf that they cannot run in races and marathons...leave me and my ipod alone...Is the next argument going to be that only certain sneakers are allowed on the courses???
People need iPODs to run because not everyone runs for the social aspect of it. I run because i like it. It's my time. And i personally am annoyed when people try to talk to me while I'm running. Great for you that you go for the socializing. But thats you, and not every racer out there. And especially not this girl. Everyone has a different reason they love running. I love my music when i run. I don't plan on placing in any marathon anytime soon, so, when you see those hundreds of runners with iPods still, I'll be one of them.
People don't "need" Ipods to run. I think that people were running long before ipods were invented. That said, if someone wants to wear an ipod while doing a race, they should (and basically are ) allowed be to. I think they're great for working out. My only question is why travel, pay money, and enter a race just to throw a pair of headphones on and tune everything out? Why not just save time, money and effort and run a different route than you're used to (you can easily map out a course for yourself on google maps)? Running down a street is free.