October 14, 2007

Race Directors getting serious about Ipods

Running with headphones/Ipods has been against the rules at any USA Track & Field sanctioned event. Enforcement has not been very consistent. Now the no-headphones rule, No. 144.3(b), has become mandatory for sanctioned road races in 2007.

Grandmas Marathon in Duluth Minnesota warns:

Runners entering the starting area wearing headphones will be asked to surrender them, and they’ll be mailed to the runner at the race’s expense. If the headphones aren’t turned over, officials will record the runner’s race number and the runner will be disqualified. Runners seen wearing headphones on the course by race officials also will have their numbers reported.
Disqualified runners won’t be eligible for prize money or age-group awards, but they will be allowed to run the race. A disqualified runner also won’t be listed in the official race results book, although all results will be listed with the official timing company, ChampionChip Timing.

Applefest Half Marathon in Hollis New Hampshire warned:

- Runners only - "No walkers", and none of the following are allowed. No pets, baby stollers, skates, headsets earbuds, mini-speakers anywhere on or around the body. And just to be clear, that means that IPODS in any form or by any other name are not allowed. This is a safety/insurance issue and has nothing to do with a like or dislike of music. It has to do with the potential future cost of insurance and/or the possible lack of availability of insurance for our race.Runners violating this safety rule will be disqualified.

The results show that 8 runners were disqualified for using prohibited items. Not many, but I'm sure these types of lists will grow. Bringing along your Ipod is certainly not worth the risk of getting disqualified after all that training.

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