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question re: headphone bans in races

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm getting ready to sign up for my second half, and as I was on the website, I noted that they specifically state that no headphones, ipods, etc are allowed.  This is a fairly large run, with a 5K, 10K, half and full marathon, I'm guessing over 15K participants.


When races say "No Headphones" do they really enforce that?


I like to listen to music while I run, and I also have a running app that tells me my splits and times.  I typically only run with one earbud in for safety.  I'm not signing up and paying the fee, only to be kicked out of the race, and I'm not running 13.1 miles without music and time.  Obviously I don't have to sign up;   I'm just trying to figure out if this is really an issue.


So, what do all you more experienced runners think?  Is it one of those things that they have to say, for insurance purposes or whatever, but that they really don't enforce or care about?   Or do they really mean it when they say you can't have any sort of ipod or headphones on?



post #2 of 4

I don't know that you'd get kicked out of the race per se (like bodily removed mid course) but if you break the rules it means that you are disqualified for any awards if caught.  One of the races I was looking at said that violating any of the rules (they also have a rule about no headphones) means that you are disqualified.  I've seen people running marathons and 5/10k with headphones at every single event;  I think as long as you don't care about the competition aspect then you probably can ignore it.


USA Track and Field (the governing body for most races, esp. the big ones) has a mandated policy banning headphones because their insurance gets jacked up if they do officially allow them, that's probably why that's all in the rules now since I'm sure that is insurance industry standard.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response!  


I assumed it was more of a "We have to say this" rather than a strictly enforced rule, but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to make major newbie error.  Races are expensive, and it's a culmination of a huge amount of training for me;  I don't want to sign up for one, only to be denied entry or forced to quit because I have an ear bud in my ear.

post #4 of 4

You could always not start out the race with them, and tuck them away, and pull them out after you start.  Apparently that is what a lot of people do, esp. the people who are not in the elite category.  I noticed at the Danskin tri (I registered last week!) they assess a time penalty if you are caught using headphones during the run and they are banned for swimming/biking (this makes sense to me--that would be pretty dangerous for those two legs!). 

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