Edinburgh Marathon

I am planning to run the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2011, but notice that they are saying you can't wear earphones. I was wondering if anyone here has run it, and what the story is. I don't think I could survive that distance without my music.


  • Their ball, their rules. If you try to get around them you may get disqualified, even prevented from crossing the line.
  • Oh dear - open can, pour all over thread.

    This subject has been spoken about more than any other topic in recent years Gordon.  

    The bottom line is that if the rules say you can't wear headphones, you can't wear headphones.  End of.

    You can get around without them, trust me.  The atmosphere and support at a big city marathon will provide the distraction your music would do.  

    As you now know about the ban, you can start to train without on some of your runs too, just to get used to it.  It really is ok - honest.

    Good luck.

  • I dont want to open a can of worms and am reading a thread just now that I found in another forum from last year. My issue, is that I don't know if I want to. I have always ran with music. I am a novice at best, and barely manage as it is. I use runkeeper to update me on my distance and times, I use music at around 90 BPM to help me with my pace. I know that to good/experienced runners this may all sound like nonsense, but it is what helped me train for and complete the Glasgow half marathon.

     What I was looking for was any experience from people who had run the Edinburgh Marathon, worn their MP3, and not had an issue. 

  • Gordon Robb wrote (see)

     What I was looking for was any experience from people who had run the Edinburgh Marathon, worn their MP3, and not had an issue. 

    as said above,

    The bottom line is that if the rules say you can't wear headphones, you can't wear headphones.  End of.

  • I wouldn't run without music, so if a race says no headphones allowed, I respect that and don't enter. Find yourself another marathon to run.
  • I've seen people run with ipods in races where they are banned. In a big race like Edinburgh you could get around without the officials noticing, but if you did get disqualified then that would be really rubbish and your hard work wasted. I wouldn't risk it...Just think about focusing on the race itself, where the water stations are, your pace and not worry about music. When I ran my first marathon last year, the music was actually a bit too distracting and I welcomed the silence as my playlist finished because I realised I only had a few miles to go and I could really enjoy the atomosphere! You really don't need it on the day image
  • It doesn't sound like nonsense Gordon.  I nearly always train with music, yet always race without.  Your training will stand you in good stead.  Whilst the music got you to run at a certain pace, your body will be conditioned to that pace by the time you get to the start line, regardless of weather you're plugged in or not. 

    The training you put in for any race is 2 fold - 1, get the body ready to do what you ask of it, 2, build mental strength to get you through the tough bits.  The second part should not be underestimated.  

    But the bottom line is rules is rules.  You wouldn't field a team of 12 in football match just because that how you play it at your club, or use Google to look up answers in an exam because it suits you.  The rules state no headphones, so you should abide by those rules.

  • That's all well and good, but I use the music, I dont listen to it. I also use vocal cues from runkeeper - sometimes with no music.

  • Technically, GPS units are banned too although everyone ignores that.

    As an aside, what vocal queues do you get from Runkeeper?  I stopped using it ages ago as I didn't get on with it.

    Things like Runkeeper are a training aid though, not race equipment.  You can let it beep at you through the speaker if you can hear it.

    Again, the rules clearly state you mustn't wear headphones.  Break the rules and risk disqualification as well as descenting looks and comments from your fellow racers who do follow the rules.

  • Gordon

    I ran Edinburgh last year.

    I wore my headphones all the way round, as did many many people.  I didn't have any issue, and I have not heard from anyone that did.

    However, I can't recall if the rules said you couldn't last year. 

    One other point though, just on what Badly Drawn Bloke said up top - IMHO I wouldn't actually class Edinburgh marathon as a big city marathon.  It exits Edinburgh via the quickest route possible, then wanders up and down the coast for 20 miles with only spots of enthusiastic support (which was appreciated!). 

  • Gordon, however you normally run, the rules of this race say that you can't use your MP3 player.

    I've run all my races - including marathons - and all my training runs without music, and it can be done (and I was a novice, and inexperienced, when I started, obviously!).

    People managed for years before these things were invented.

    People who just ignore the rule because it doesn't suit them are being very arrogant.

    If you really don't want to run without, then find another race.  

  • Organisers are just covering their arses. I'm sure they would love you to run with your MP3 really
  • If the issue is one of beating boredom,  why not try talking to some of the people around you during the race. I always try and strike up a conversation with someone running at the same pace as me during half marathons (haven't tackled the full marathon distance yet). Although, you have to respect that not everyone wants to make concersation in theses circumstances.

  • Wilkie wrote (see)

    People managed for years before these things were invented.

    I was just about to post that .......... I'm glad I started running before the advent of I-pods, garmins etc.  It used to be that running was one of the only sports you could do by just going out your front door and running............. Tsk Tsk where will it all end? image LOL image

    TBH Gordon - it's up to you.  Run with I-pod and risk disqualification (this has happend in some cases I've heard of but I think it's unlikely) or run sans I-pod.  Only you can make that decision. 

  • A lot of people missing my point. I get that people run differently. I get that some people liek to soak in the atmosphere, talk to fellow runners, be at peace with their own thoughts. I myself am a solitary runner. I rarely run with anyone else (other than races I have done), and enjoy running with Music and runkeeper. I can't use a watch as I can't see the time without my glasses.

     Badly Drawn Bloke, you can get distance, time, speed (different speeds have been introduced in the latest build), at intervals based on time or distance. 

     I want to run the Marathon as I want to complete it, I don't really know what being disqualified means on a race such as this. 

     But  as I say, I was looking for input from people who have run it, or tried to run it  WITH mp3 player like IC 11

  • Cheers Tigerlily.
  • Gordon Robb wrote (see)

    A lot of people missing my point. 

     I want to run the Marathon as I want to complete it, I don't really know what being disqualified means on a race such as this. 

    I think most people think that it is you missing the point Gordon - you do realise that the reason for the no MP3's is a Health & Safety issue to do with insurance?  You might miss a marshals intruction, not be aware of what is going on around you etc?  If you get injured whilst wearing your music you have no insurance.  (Though I suspect this is yet to be tested)...... No MP3's will be in the organisers risk assessment.  I suspect you wouldn't think of hopping on a bus half way round the course to get a quicker time?  If not why break this rule?

    Having said all that I bet there are loads of people who have worn music to races and nothing has happend. 

    Disqualified means just that - no results.  If you don't want an official time why not just go out and do a 26.2 mile run?

  • Thanks Gordon for the info on Runkeeper.

    I think people do get your point, but you may be missing the point yourself.  The race rules clearly state how the race is operated and you accept those rules.  The only way to get things 100% how we would like it is to organize our own races.

    I have to say that I've never seen anyone disqualified in a race for wearing headphones, but this is becoming a bigger issue now days so the likelihood of it happening is greater than before.  How that disqualification would manifest itself, I don't know.  It could as extreme as being pulled off of the course, or not receiving your medal and/or not being listed in the results.  Its up to you if you want to take the risk.

  • Sorry when I say people missing the point, I mean my question was aimed at looking for the experiences of people who have run the race with MP3 players. I get the point about it being a rule, I dont agree with it, but , that's not the point either.

     I am not really looking for advice on how to change how I run is what I mean by missing the ponit. I'm sure it's great and all, but it's just not what I like to do. So I think, how seriously is this ban taken, lets find out and ask if folks just run with MP3s anyway. The race will be covered as they have told people not to. Sure the insurance wont cover the people, but that's their problem. 

     I want to run the race, I really enjoyed Glasgow half marathon. I can enjoy it just as much with my music/runkeeper quitely in the background. I can hear everything else quite well as my ear plugs don't bung up my ears.

  • i want one of those amazing ipods where you can listen to music through headphones but still hear everything going on around you and be fully aware of your surroundings.

    it seems every running ipod user has one.  

  • That the organisers are "covered" is not the whole point - the safety of you and other people is the real issue.

    Just as important, in my view, is why do some people think that just because they don't agree with the rules, of an event that they have CHOSEN to enter, that they could just ignore them?

    If you don't like the rules, don't do the event.

    I guess you were looking for a few runners to come on here and say "I ran with mine, if was fine", to back up what you want to do anyway.  That you got a very different reaction should tell you something about how these things are viewed by other runners.

    You can, and will, do what you want, so why waste time asking others to give your choice some false validity?

  • Why is there no information about this on the Edinburgh marathon's main event information page:


     Not good, it should say that you can't wear headphones in the interest of safety bit surely!

  • http://www.edinburgh-marathon.com/?terms_conditions

    2. This event is run under Scottish Athletics rules and therefore MP3 players or other devices plugged into the ear are banned whilst running for reasons of health & safety, both yours and other competitors. When you wear such a device you are unable to hear other competitors, cars, bicycles or marshals instructions

  • Sigh, strange response to a question.

    What is with this negativity to running with mp3.

    Firstly I have earphones which don't go in my ear, so while I can hear what is coming through them, I can hear what's going on around me too - be sceptical if you like.

    Secondly, I was not looking for people to agree with what I planned to do anyway, I was looking for the experience of people who may have decided to run with headphone despite the ban. I certainly wasn't looking for the views of people seem to be against mp3 (ban or no ban)

    If someone else hadn't mentioned it too me I woukd have been none the wiser. As it isn't exactly prominent on the information.
  • Poor Gordon! People are missing your point. I think they think they are asking for their approval-maybe even their permission-ha ha. Nearly every health and safety rule has come about because someone got hurt and died and yet no-one has heard of any accidents in a race.  MP3's are not banned because they are unsafe its because people disapprove of them. People ran for years before sports shoes, sports drinks and everything else too!!
  • What is with this negativity to running with mp3.

    It's against the rules?...

    Yes, I appreciate you're sitting there waiting for other cheats / rule-breakers to say it's fine, sod it, go for it - Why bother having rules?

    If you don't want to abide by the rules, don't run it.

  • Blimey Gordon - you're not listening even with your headphones not on.

     1. Its their race - their rules

    2. If the music can be heard thru your headphones then you are blocking off sounds that you'd otherwise hear.

     3. Some people may have run in the past with headphones - thats no guarantee that they arent cracking down on them this year.  London has people in place to stop people with no numbers crossing the line. They may copy them or they may not. Who knows ?

     Of course you can run it without music. 1000s of people every year do just that. Why are you an exception ?  What happens if it breaks half way through. Will you abandon ?

    Basically just man up and try running without your security blanket. You'll be fine.

  • yes NLR, always best to wait for things to cause an injury or death before imposing restrictions. image
  • NLR - I dont know that I'd say it's becuase they dissaprove. I think it's much more about covering themselves, otherwise they wouldn't say it's an insurance issue.

    SFTL - I didn't so much mean negativity about running the Edinburgh Marathon with MP3, I meant the general negativeity there seems to be about running with tech. I get why people are against MP3 in Edinburgh, it's against the rules - I honestly get that. I do however think it's a stretch to call someone who wants to run with music/runkeeper a cheat. This is about me wanting to give myself the best chance to drag myself round in what I estimate will be over 5 hours. Cheat is a bit strong. 

     Cougie - I am listening. I get that its agains the rules. I get that I am not hearing everythign that I would hear without anything constricting my ears. I dont agree that this means it'll be dangerous. I know that I can run without music. I have done when my battery has not been charged. I neither enjoy it as much, or do as well. Hence, prefering to run with. 

     I don't even know if I'll be able to run this thing as I've only committed to train, and see if I can complete a very novice programme. But if I do get there on the day, I will most likely be running with my phones, even if I don't have them on all the time. I just wanted to find out from people that had done this, what had happended to them. 

     I had/have no intention to piss anyone off, obstruct anyone, use MP3 as some magical tool to allow my to beat some serious runners time. 

     There are plenty of runners who run without MP3, that drift about, and stop suddenly, and cut across at water stations. Isn't it just possible MP3's are an easy target?

  • I've ran Edinburgh the last 2 years and people with ipods cannot hear you coming past or get out of the way, the path is quite narrow in places.

    What's the problem you've got 4 months to train without music and get used to it!!
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