No iPods or music players in road races

I've just received a newsletter from the Poole Festival Of Running, which included a note that iPods and other music players are now banned by the UKAA in all road races.

I understand the safety issues surrounding this, and for busy 5K and 10K races I kind of get it, but I have to admit that the thought of running a half-marathon or even a marathon (if I ever get that far!!) with no music to distract me fills me with dread. Espeically when, in smaller fields, you spend a lot of time out there on your own.

I don't play my music loud, so I can hear approaching runners, and I always look behind me before changing my road position, but, at times, a good tune has really kept me going.

I have Googled this topic, and I couldn't actually find anything official about this UKAA ruling - apart from the fact that they are enforcing it in the US and that it wasn't passed as a rule for FLM 2008.

I was wondering what people's thoughts were on this topic, and whether anyone knows whether this is going to become more stricty enforced over the next couple of years?



  • True much debated topic, i couldn't care less personally. Sometimes i have my tunes on sometimes not but it makes no difference to me if someone said you can't use your ipod/mp3.

    I haven't heard of the UKAA banning them though, maybe its a little white lie by Poole image

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    I've just checked the website and it doesn't apply to Dwayne Chambers
  • swittleswittle ✭✭✭
  • Maybe they should ban all talking during races as well and drinking because it is equally dangerous with other runners around.
  • it's all about minimising risks, .................................. but it would be a great shame if it prevents anyone from racing.
  • Assuming this is a fact....... which is yet to  be verified.

    I start by adding: well said Gas Ed.

    The water stations and runners throwing cups and bottles are more of a danger than runners listening to their iPod.  In France, at the 'revitaillement' stations they have orange wedges and bananas served and runners have managed to find their ways to continue their race without any injuries.

    As a matter of fact if runners have developed the skills to listen to music and run outdoors, crossing roads, etc they are perfectly OK during  controlled races.

    Many many runners use the music as a distraction from the tediousness during long distances. Banning, a comfort zone element, is an added pressure.

  • Sorry, but I don't find it tedious at all ........................ it acts as form of meditation for me.

    Each to their own 

  • as I said, each runner develops a way to cope with the run - you meditate Pizza man. others listen to music

  • If they've banned them in the states then nobody told the Americans. I was in Chicago in October for the marathon and thousands of runners had them surgically attached to their ears. My last race was in Liverpool and the crowd was extremely sparse throughout most of the course. The race organiser had attempted to get bands to line the route to cheer us on, but they all wanted hundreds of pounds to do it! (Bear in mind this is the capital of culture)! I did run with my IPOD, but only because it was far less lonely to do so.

    The most dangerous thing I've seen in races is folk flinging their (7/8ths full) water bottle to the kerb and having it another runner! image I also think it can be pretty dangerous to walk 10 abreast with your mates 200 yards into a race, forcing others onto roads / grass verges around you. That's when accidents happen, but this is another bone of contention amongst forumites and I don't want to start another row.....image

  • Precisely, Livebird, the bottles thrown and caught by heads and faces of those who are coming behind -

    Congratulations on completing Chicago. Very nice route, cool weather, and a very fast race..well done is certainly due

  • Wahay, here we go again.......

    Some great points again, The Wilmslow 1/2 banned ipods this year (loads still wore them though) yet allowed a Rhino, a couple of winged fairies, a spaceman, a fireman (complete with BA set).

    Can you imagine banning ipods at the FLM yet allowing the thousands of novelty runners to compete.....double standards in my eyes.

    I'm in total favour of people enjoying running in whatever gear they choose to wear, including ipods, as long as the organisers allow it. If they don't.....don't

    Great point LIVERBIRD.

  • Yup, fair point.

    I had to barge my way past 7 wombles, a cornish pastie and a meat and potato pie at the FLM cos' they couldn't hear me asking for them to shift that the same thing?......probably.

  • run@50 I don't meditate as such ................. that would be a bit daft image

    Like you say, each to their own.

    I think race organisors are getting pressure to ban MP3's from the insurance companies. I don't know that for a fact, just something to be aware of.

    Liverbird, good points well put.image

    I don't race as much as I used to, but when I did, most races had little plastic cups 1/2 full of water. I'm not aware of anyone getting injured. Maybe race organisors should go back to that method rather than the hugely more costly, providing bottled water. Just thought, you know, whilst we're minimising risks.

  • image

    And they all beat me (apart from two of the older, slower wombles) !!!!

  • Tomorrow is the Ranelagh 1/2 marathon (Richmond) - will let you know the score.

     Pizza Man - you said: "it acts as form of meditation for me" - image

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    This has been going on for years...before ipods and sony walkmen Dorando Pietri employed a conductor and a singer to run alongside him reciting the Anvil Chorus from Verdi's Il Trovatore through a megaphone..In this picture a ukaa official is about to apprehend the singer for flouting the rules

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    ABAB wrote (see)

    Yup, fair point.

    I had to barge my way past 7 wombles, a cornish pastie and a meat and potato pie at the FLM cos' they couldn't hear me asking for them to shift that the same thing?......probably.

    Why do people always pick on wombles? We're just making good use of the things left behind......
  • Just a point on using iPods in USA - when I did the New York Marathon in November 2007 the race entry packs said they were banned (loads of runners used them though).  I have since seen they have changed it for this year and they now say "the use of headphones is strongly discouraged" (so no longer banned).
  • Liverbird - I had my iPod on in Chicago - kinda felt I was going to need it that day...... image

    I don't run with one normally....

  • Vixx76 - This year Chicago says ipods etc are banned and anyone using one will be disqualified.  Was it that definite last year when everyone ignored the ban or have they made it more strongly worded please?  Wanted to know as I am entered for it this year and usually always run maras with an ipod.  Personally think it far less dangerous than the slimey roads where Lucozade sachets have been thrown down or turning ankles on leftover water bottles.  
  • Folks - in Chicago this year, the best thing they could ban is the heat and humidity....image (Oh and the cars driving directly at runner's legs honking their horns because the CPD re-opened the roads amidst all the chaos and we all know how patient Americans drivers are)image

    Lazybones - don't google anything about last year's race. image

    Those who were there know what happened and those who weren't needn't be put off. It's like childbirth stories - yours will be different!

    I am running the Liverpool Women's 10K this morning. The race sponsors pulled out last minute and our timing chips have been withdrawn. This means that we only have the gun time, which will inevitably mean a frenzy for the front. There is also a 5K and (no disrespect to 5K runners, believe me) as they are more likely to be beginners I fear that some may do the "walky thing" in vast swathes and drive me potty. I know it's not really the weather for a PB, but I was really hoping for something respectable today and as the course is really narrow, I might be using a lot of red smilies later when I report back!image

    No IPOD for me today. I'll be hot enough as it is!image

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    If other people can discard water bottles, then I definitely should be allowed to wear my iPod. It's logical innit?
  • Just to let you know, many runners had their ipods, today, during the Ranelagh Half-marathon in Richmond. Organisers never said a word.

    Most were part of running clubs - if the ban were into effect, the clubs would have sent warnings to their runners.

    If one thing was to be banned today --- this should be the heat

  • Frecklton 1/2 said the same in there info re-ipods for June.

    Maybe they have to put it in the info now there is a ban but aren't enforcing it.

    Personally don't use one when racing even in 1/2 and mara.

    Most runners do seem to keep them low enough to hear whats going on but there are those who have them sooooo loud others can hear what they're listening to. I've come across a fair few causing obstructions because they can't hear what's going on though.

    Personally I think its a shame to cut yourself off with one. Even on my 'smaller' races I've usually found someone to have a litlle 'chat' with. It'd be a shame if loads of people got disqualified though

    At FLM it was the  mobile phone using runners that really got on my nerves, as well as all the ridiculously bis fancy dress costumes that started in the front pens- I was pen 4 went past loads- fair enough if it's what you want to do but start at the back!!

  • The race I was at today announced that if you wear one you do it at your own risk
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