wearing headphones/earphones

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24/09/2012 at 16:11

Has anybody else nearly been taken out of a race (I don't mean instructed to leave by a marshall i.e. disqualified - I mean injured/forced to abandon race) by another runner wearing earphones or headphones who wasn't aware you were there?  Or has it actually happened to you?  It nearly happened to me in a half marathon yesterday.  Normally the people who ignore the race rule not to use mp3 players aren't too much of a nuisance, but yesterday i was accelerating down a hill and the other runner didn't know i was coming through and didn't hear me calling to him to not block me off.  It was push him out the way, break hard or end up in a ditch and although I say it myself, the speed I was travelling at made only the former desireable.   Just for the record he was closing a gap I was planning to go through on the inside as I bore down on him fast, it wasn't a case of me expecting everybody to get out my way.  

I personally think race organisers need to get tough on these people because they just ignore the polite request not to use mp3 players during races.  If they want to use them whilst training then that is one thing.  Using them in races with other people all around you is another.


24/09/2012 at 16:14

just because they are wearing headphones doesn't give you the automatic right to go through on the inside.

24/09/2012 at 16:19

I would say there was a 4th option... you could have tried to hurdle them. Probably wouldn't have worked but would have been hilarious.

24/09/2012 at 16:27

You were at the back, so it was your responsibility to ensure you could pass safely.

24/09/2012 at 16:52

none of you were there, so I don't think you can comment on how it happened yesterday and whose fault it was.  I was asking if anybody else has been close to or actually got injured because of some idiot who cannot see that wearing headphones in a race with loads of other runners around them is likely to cause problems.

i knew some people would assume i was running stupid, so I tried to pre-empt it in my original post.  There was a gap of around a metre wide, easily enough room to go through.  But as I was closing down on him fast he decided to move across and block my run.  Surely this advocates the banning of ipods, because I saw the problem in advance and called out to him that i was there and coming through.  If he wasn't wearing headphones he would have heard me and the collision would not have been close. 

In the later stages of races some people have burnt themselves out and are travelling pretty slowly.  Others who have saved something are now travelling well and their speed is amplified when descending a hill.  Do you suggest Intermanaut that I have to slow down when approaching every slow runner I encounter in case they are wearing headphones and won't hear me when it is they who are disobeying the race rule of wearing ipods?  Some people really see the world in a funny light!

24/09/2012 at 16:54

LapDog - we don't need to be there.  You already gave enough information when you said that you were overtaking.  You were at the back.  You were responsible for ensuring a safe over-taking manoeuvre.  QED.

24/09/2012 at 17:18

I agree with lapdog. These people are a bl**dy nuisance and race organisers should remove them from the results list and ban them from the next year's event. All race entrants have a duty of care to all other entrants. If you are oblivious to your surroundings you are a menace and potentially dangerous (especially if the roads are still open to traffic).

What is wrong in soaking up the atmosphere of the race and the encouragement of marshalls and supports alike. That is one of the key differences of racing rather than training.

24/09/2012 at 17:27

Let me guess....you too are one of these selfish people who won't comply with this safety request because you don't want to and can't appreciate the problem you are making for other people?  

Let me try one last time....it would have been a safe over-taking manoeuvre had he not disobeyed race rules and worn headphones, because he would have heard I was there.  He moved across my once clear path because he had no idea i was there because he had blocked his hearing out with music.  I don't care where you get your silly "official rules of running and etiquette" from, if you can't grasp even that simple concept.

Just out of interest.. what would you, 'fountain of all running knowledge', have done in my position?  Do you wait behind very slow runners until you absolutely sure it is safe to go past them, giving them a wide berth mind, just in case.    

And don't end things with 'QED', not if you want to be liked by other human beings, because it does make you sound a complete £%&$.

24/09/2012 at 17:29

well said Russell....totally agree with everything you just said.

24/09/2012 at 18:02

I don't use headphones but don't have a problem with those who do. I can usually overtake safely enough either way.

24/09/2012 at 18:08
If the race rules say "no I pods" why not respect the rules! Has anyone been DQ'd for disobeying the rule?
24/09/2012 at 19:03

Out of interest what about people like me who have headphones on but no music?

I have them as I have an app that tells me my pace at set intervals (I can set them). This is because an app is free/cheap (can't remember how much if anything it was) whereas something like a GPS watch I cannot justify the expense of.

Plus not sure whether fiddling with a watch would be just as distracting as having app tell you your pace in your ear.

24/09/2012 at 19:13

That the runner was tuned in is irrelevant.  What would you have done if he'd not been tuned in and still didn't hear you because he was deaf?  Would you have still been a tool?

What do I do?  I'd make a safe overtaking move.

I don't run with music any more.  I used to in training, and I used to in events where it was permitted.  Mind you, the only event I've run over the last few years where they're not permitted is the Evesham 10k.

@Russell Eaton - how do you know that someone who's wearing headphones isn't fully aware of what's going on around them?  If I'm plugged in I'm pay far more attention than when I'm not.

@Crimson - the ban isn't on iPods or MP3 players - it's on being plugged in to headphones, so you'd be DQ'd.


Could someone put the lid back on the can, please?

24/09/2012 at 19:33
Yep the person making the overtaking manoeuvre has the responsibility to make it safely. QED
Dark Vader    pirate
24/09/2012 at 19:40

Same problem driving..  all those slow buggers getting in the way...

Its perfectly simple..   regardless of whether the person has an awareness of your presence or not, if you are over-taking then its YOUR responsibility to take all factors into account before you do so.  If there is someone in front of you, or the way is restricted width then you need more care.   Simply shouting at someone and expecting them to comply with your request doesn't give you right of way.   He could easily have heard you..  and ignored you...   or, as someone else said, had a hearing problem.


24/09/2012 at 19:44
Personally i find it really irritating when someone shoves me out of the way just cos they're going faster, or seems to think I have to jump out of their way to let them past. Normal rules of courtesy apply wherever, so wait to pass when you have time and space like the rest of us. And what IS the big deal about headphones ffs? I listen to music cos I like listening to music but it doesn't render me deaf or oblivious to my surroundings. Maybe your fellow runner didn't appreciate being shouted at to get out of your way and chose to ignore you? Get over it.
24/09/2012 at 19:48

@Katrina 0 2 - there is no big deal.  It's more of an issue because people have made it so.

24/09/2012 at 19:58
What is the correct etiquette for overtaking someone in this situation?
24/09/2012 at 20:04
Punch in the kidneys as you go past

Why if it says on the entry form no mp3 / iPods do people insist on ignoring it ?

It says you can't be naked in the rules but I bet you wear clothes ?

In triathlon is is a DQ to even wear head phones whilst racking up before the event, and yes I have seen people thrown out even before the start for ignoring it
24/09/2012 at 20:06
@Intermaut - that's exactly what I mean - someone mentions headphones and all hell breaks loose! Anyway rant over - I've had a rough day and will now crawl back into my lurker's cave where I belong ...
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