Do they really mean it about no headphones at Manchester Marathon?

advice needed on whether to go ahead regardless

81 to 94 of 94 messages
08/04/2013 at 09:36



Ultra waccyracer wrote (see)

If you can drive your cars at 60-70 miles an hour listening to car stereos watching the road and other traffic without causing an accident i'm sure you can handle a local run around traffic free parks or roads.



driving a car with stereo on is nothing like running wearing headphones,

Edited: 08/04/2013 at 09:37
08/04/2013 at 10:48
Also-ran wrote (see)

But GazOC is right. So long as the runner with headphones is liable for any accidents, that makes it ok that they tripped someone up and ruined the weeks of training and the race of someone else.  Rules like that are worthless, whereas Manchester have at least got a clear ruling. Bit of enforcement would help though.

Er...that'll be sarcasm? Right?

Just to clarify they meant incidents/ accidents occuring to the runner themselves. Personally I've never felt and more or any less likely to somehow be tripped by a headphone wearing runner than a non headphone wearing runner.

08/04/2013 at 11:01

I thought I'd go to the horse's mouth, and asked UKA.  This is the reply I got:

"You are correct to say that there isn’t a UKA rule banning the use of headsets in races – you have quoted almost word for word the reasons we would give for applying local conditions on their use – but I would love to know how stories start such as UKA fining race organisers!


Any decision to ban the use of headsets is taken independently by the race organisers and we will support their decision should any dispute arise as a consequence.  UKA most definitely does not have the power to “fine” race organisers in any circumstances."


Edited: 08/04/2013 at 11:05
08/04/2013 at 11:20

perhaps you should reply Wilks and ask UKA if they have any plans to include a ban on headsets in the future, or that it's being discussed by their Rules Committee (I assume they will have one).  that might be an interesting reply.

fwiw - here's the BTF rule on it:

"8.1 Any equipment that acts as an impediment to hearing or concentration is prohibited from use during an event (including transition). This includes, but is not limited to, mobile telephones (which should be switched off if stored in transition), personal stereos and MP3 players."

08/04/2013 at 11:55
The UKA rules apply for 2 years with the latest revision being applicable since 2012. I believe there is a link on the UKA web site to make rule change suggestions.

Road running can definitely learn from other sports. BTF have made it clear on headphones and will therefore have a policing method.
I believe cycling rules prohibit the dropping of litter with offenders being disqualified. I've spent many an hour pickin up gel wrappers after running events
08/04/2013 at 12:09

triathlon rules also penalise those caught littering (comes under Discarding Equipment rule) but it's not the easiest to enforce especially when they're on the bike leg as there just aren't enough eyes to monitor everyone.   in long distance tris, aid stations on the bike have drop zones for bottles and general litter to help improve matters and most triathetes do conform as it gets ingrained early on in your race career.

08/04/2013 at 13:17

More from UKA, in reply to asking if UKA were considering a ban on headsets:

"The rule has been proposed on a number of occasions in the past but has always been rejected – mainly on the grounds of the difficulty of enforcement and the different circumstances that can apply across the range of courses that are encountered."


08/04/2013 at 13:36

It's difficult to enforce speed limits, drink driving, and seat belt rules

Doesn't stop the rules being there.

Sounds like a cop out from UKA to me

08/04/2013 at 14:00

they don't have to catch absolutely everyone to enforce it.

simply disqualify the ones they do see wearing headphones.

08/04/2013 at 14:04

If you don't like the rules dont enter the race.  Simple!

08/04/2013 at 14:24

as bp says - yes, difficult to enforce but having the rule there would lend a lot more weight to organisers enforcing bans in the first place.   OK triathlons are in the main much smaller events (London Tri has over 10000 taking part but that's over a number of races over 2 days so each race is relatively small in numbers) so it's easier to enforce as you can spot people putting ipods on in transition and stop them as they leave.  it would be more difficult with mass starts of multiple '000s but DQing at the finish should be enough to help to prevent their use.

and within the BTF rules is a clause that Race Directors can use to introduce variations to race rules for events provided competitors are informed equally and the BTF are notified.  If UKA had similar, then this could be invoked for some races where the use of headphones is unlikely to cause too many issues - e.g. multi lap track endurance races, some ultras, some off-road events etc.

UKA are copping out


08/04/2013 at 14:55

or perhaps UKA don't really give a toss about whether people wear earphones, and so are quite happy to allow race organisers to apply such rules on a case by case basis. Sounds sensible enough to me.

08/04/2013 at 15:39
Why is not enacting a rule that you want 'copping out", FB?
08/04/2013 at 16:14

Now I hardly speak from vast experience, being a complete newcomer to road-running.

However, whereas I initially couldn't do without music or a spoken word podcast while out on training runs, I can completely take it or leave it now.

I went out last week with headphones on, and it was about 3 miles in that I realised I hadn't started anything playing. It's actually becoming my preference to hit the roads when there's not a soul out there, and just enjoy the quiet.

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