This topic raised testy replies on the Marine Corps Marathon forum this year, too. IMHO, the USATF doesn't ban music players for safety (although that's a factor) or to be "snooty". The ban first comes in Article IV - Rules of Competition, Section I - General (under Assistance to Athletes) right after a more general ban on technical devices that assist runners ( http://www.usatf.org/about/rules/2007/ ). I presume the USATF considers music players as an unfair aid to competitors.
Point is, USATF sanctioned events are competitions not fun runs, even if you're at the back of the pack. The USATF must consider electronic devices used to make the event easer or improve times and unfair advantage.
You have me on several points. Running shoes have improved since the first modern Marathon was run in 1896. Leather, cotton and wool have been drop by the road side and replaced by synthetic cloth. The drink of choice was wine not water in the first Marathon. Watches were in use in the 1890's. If you are going to intellectually challenge me get your facts straight. Remember your dealing with a Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal man (caveman) it should be easy for you. Running shoes, heart monitors, Dri fit clothing and even sport drinks have improved the speed of runners, but also more importantly reduced injury and health risks to runners. I am all for reducing injury and health risks. Thanks for the quotes from John Bingham he has made a lot of money off of joggers. You should get his book titled "No Need for Speed" AKA how to run a loserathon. I know you think my ideas are ridiculous and my views don't really deserve a rebuttal. So I will just ask a question of the modern women, who fabricates her own running history to make her ideas and views valid. How do ipods reduce injury and improve the health of the running public. Just runners not (9 minute mile Joggers), let's keep it to a "running races" theme. If you don't answer it's OK, because we all know you don't have one. Keep ipods out of races and in loserathons, we agree. Checkmate!
Just to offer another opinion...... personally, I need my definitions objective. I use the following definitions: walking is when both feet are in contact with the pavement at some point in a stride; running is when there is no point in the stride when both feet contact the pavement. I don't know if there's consensus on this.
However, there's wide-spread consensus on this: Cro-Magnon is considered homo sapiens, Neanderthal man is not, and went extinct soon after Cro-Magnon arrived in Europe.
I won't speculate as to who was the better runner....
I think that you have some anger issues that need to be addressed, seriously. We are trying to have a rational discussion on the issue of iPods in races. Most of the runners that show up and pay up are the back of the pack runners. We are supporting the charity that is sponsoring the race and we are supporting the sport of running. These events would not exist with out us. If iPods are unsafe then we should know what is unsafe about them. If the issue is iPods are an unfair aid to competitors, then there should be a way to accommodate the back of the pack as well as the front row competitors. Also, Spiridon you owe Wonder women an apology for your personal attacks.
"Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider."
Sir Francis Bacon
Agree wholeheartedly. Should apologize. The snobbery and elitism is shameful to say the least. We're all paying the same $ to participate and many do it just for the charity.....without the MOP-BOP'ers its unlikey you have so many races. In a race with 3000, 2990 are not in the top 10.
I agree the distinction between running and jogging is probably snobbery and even intellectually sloppy.
But there are legitimate justifications for the USATF ban and even back of the pack (admittedly), non-elitist (hopefully) non-snobs can be in favor of the ban in USATF-sanctioned races. Please don't put all of us in the same bucket.
Any flaming in a forum about running is inappropriate.
I've run events with and without walkman/iPods - I really like running with it. I really hope I don't meet someone in an event or race who thinks my 12:00 average 1/2 marathon time per minute isn't worth the sport of running. Honestly, I make my living elsewhere and RUN for the love of it. And all those charities I have helped could care less if I listened to aniPod while doing it.
Thank you Old Concord Runner and Migo. Hopefully most of the RUNNERS that join us on course in marathons don't echo Spiridon's views; I have always found our running community to be inclusive and not exclusive, irrregardless of whether you clock a 5 minute mile or a 12+. Everyone has to start somewhere; I averaged an 11 minute pace when I first started distance running and have whittled down to a lot less pounds and little over a 9/mile pace.
Thankfully I don't have to run beside him since he has reiterated over and over how much better/faster a runner he is than I.
If the ban is TRULY a safety issue I don't see why they don't enact the rule we have in my local running club - ONE earphone only. If the ban is due to something else let's hear it. We all pay to lace up and toe the line at USATF races, I think they should provide an explanation for the ban. If they have done so, someone who has seen it could post it here. Given the debate it has sparked and the considerable time, money and advertisement Nike, Apple and other MP3 player making corporations designed for running has spent and are making on runners using the equioment on the run I suspect this will rage for a while.
Man you have to chill. That's not cool jumping all over the lady. I don't have a car, so I run places with my iPod with no problem. I do the races on the weekends and really like your idea of wine stops instead of water. Spiridon get your self an ipod, put some tunes on you like and mellow out man! I need some help, I could not find any Marathoner named Hillary was she famous for some other race? Stay cool all!
Wonder Woman -- Dave Vause provided a link to the USATF rule book (should be there if you scroll up a bit) which has more information about race rules than I think most of us will ever need!
The USATF says that athletes who have received assistance will be DQ'ed and it defines assistance as "the conveying of advice, information or direct help to an athlete by any means, including a technical device." The rules also say that "the visible possession or use by athletes of audio or video cassette recorders or players, TVs, CD or DVD players, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, or any similar devices in the competition area shall not be permitted." Bit peculiar that they specify TVs but not iPods! My reading of it is that the USATF's view re: iPods is more of an advantage rather than a safety issue (and if anyone else wants to wade through it, it's pp. 58-59). The rules do, however, also specify that "competitors may carry or wear articles of personal equipment such as wrist chronometers and heart rate monitors" (in case anyone is wondering about those technical devices).
I suppose this is easier said than done -- and I don't know anything about how the USATF makes/changes rules -- but maybe they need to rethink (or clarify) some rules given the explosion in popularity of road running over the years. While I do think participants in USATF-sanctioned races should abide by their rules, it's obvious that the participant demographic has changed (and expanded) dramatically, and what was applicable to a few hundred people in a race 20 years ago doesn't necessarily make the most sense for a few thousand today.
Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.
Previous editions of "the rules" banned metronome-like pacing devices, perhaps they still do elsewhere. These are the essence of rhythm, offering both stride rate guidance and a distraction from the mental challenge of competition and distance. It is fully understandable, from the USATF's competitive perspective, that athletes compete on both their physical and mental merits.
This is at odds with the concept of "fun run", which I feel is more recreation than competition. Clearly (to me, at least), the rules of fun running should be looser simply because the runners are not out there solely to test their physical and mental limits at covering a certain distance in the minimal amount of time. We all run for different reasons.
The USATF is responsible for the integrity of racing in the U.S. and is recognized internationally as such. They are the ones who certify the distances and times of the American runners who compete at the Olympics. They can't change their rules for fun runners because, actually, fun runs isn't what they do. Additionally, we mortals can't get to Boston from inside the US without a USATF-certified time.
With the advent of fun running - and the health benefits that ensue - I think the answer is not to have the USATF change its rules, rather, how to make an exception to the rules for those who do not want to be held to those standards. This places a lot of tactical burden on race organizers, but perhaps separate starts for USATF runners and fun runners (Note the use of the term "fun runner" rather than jogger. I've hated the term since the 70's when I could run a sub 16:30 5K. (smiles)). Many large marathons already have wave starts, though the MCM discontinued this practice this year.
On the other hand, as a 52 year old non-active Marine returning to running after an 18 year - and 30 lb - hiatus, I want to be able to test my body and mind at USATF-certified races without having my admittedly slow time made worse by runners who lined up in corrals beyond their capabilities, then can't hear me when I try to pass them.....fully recognizing that many iPod runners are faster than me.
So I suggest separate starts for USATF-certified runners and fun runners, and a distinction made between "certified" times and non-certified times. In the interim, remembering the words of Rodney himself: "Can't we just all get along.?"
I am neither seasoned nor authoritative in running, but would share my viewpoints on this controversial matter.
Similar to the points NHSenior made in this thread, I believe the USATF rule to ban the wearing of mp3 players during certified road/trail races is a policy to protect race organizers from a set of PERCEIVED possible liabilities associated with the device. It has nothing to do with runners' personal preference, with the potential inability to hear important announcements, with purity of running, or with the sentiment of elite vis-à-vis recreational runners.
I have only been running for two years. In all the dozen or so races I have been in, I have not witnessed or heard any MP3-related injury. However, I have seen several runners wearing MP3 players who did not yield to (and presumably, did not hear the warning of) faster runners passing by. Sometimes they were quite startled by the passers. I have also seen, though rarely, MP3 players with lines and earplugs fell off arm band, waist or top of runners. When this happened, the runner invariably stopped and tried to recover the devices on the course. As a result, a small commotion took place and risk for injury increased on the spot. Other items on the course have caused similar commotions, such as discarded clothing and water cups/bottles. I can only assume that many of you more experienced runners have witnessed similar scenarios. I have not seen loosened chest straps of heart rate monitors. These are my INDIVIDUAL observations, and I am sure the race organizers received many more incident reports - it is a simple function of SIZE of the crowd.
So far I have not read any lawsuit claiming a race-related personal/property injury to have resulted from, directly or indirectly, the use of mp3 player. There might have been some such cases by now (those who know please do tell). Considering the number of lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits in the US nowadays, it may not be long before we all read or hear of one. In this context, any sane race organizer would not take much time to reach the necessary conclusion - banning the use of MP3 players in races, though unpopular to many runners, protects the race organizers from perceived possible liabilities such as personal injures resulting from mishaps of the devices. When opinions like this were received from various race organizers, USATF could only agree to make it an official policy. The perceived liabilities are just too great, though incidents are likely extremely infrequent, to not act the way it did. Once it became official, there is no way to retract.
Like it or not, runners, we have to abide by all the rules and, there are plenty of races not certified by USATF. This particular rule is to LEGALLY COVER THE RACE ORGANIZERS and has nothing to do with runners' preference.
By the way, the day when all USATF certified races start enforcing this rule is the day after a big lawsuit with jury verdict against some race organizer breaks the news.