MP3 player or not on race day?

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15/10/2007 at 11:28

Hi everyone,

I have been training for the Great South Run and am pretty much on track (well for getting round it at least). This will be my first actual race and as I have never been to one before, I was wondering if it is worth taking my MP3 player? As there will be 18500 runners and then all the supporters, will I even be able to hear it if I do? I kind of want to, as I have been training with it for the past few months and I believe it helps a bit with my breathing and running rythm and will help me to keep my head and not set off too fast for the first couple of miles. Worth it or not?

15/10/2007 at 11:30
Nah - enjoy the atmosphere - it is what makes race days different!
cougie    pirate
15/10/2007 at 11:38
I'd definitely say no. You want to soak up the atmosphere, and not lock yourself away in a bubble of sound. Some races are banning them on safety grounds as well. I've seen people racing with ipods oblivious to an ambulance trying to get past them.
15/10/2007 at 11:48
I'm doing the GSR and I'm a vote for no too - it's great talking to other runners and hearing the crowd. Also the only person who almost tripped me in my race yesterday was wearing an ipod and was unaware I was there.
15/10/2007 at 11:54

Thanks guys. I guess I will leave it at home!

 I must admit, I have almost returned home with tyre tracks over me myself, from not realising there was a cyclist behind me!

Best of luck for the race "B"

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
15/10/2007 at 11:59

"no" gets my vote too, you'd miss out on a lot, much better to enjoy everything that's going on around you. And as cougie said, there's the health and safety aspect too.

Actually I don't ever run with one.

15/10/2007 at 12:01

only use mine in the gym to relieve the tedium of the treadmill

never use one outside, racing or training, for all of the above reasons

15/10/2007 at 12:10
Good luck to you too Rarron - it should be fun. I am hoping the weather stays like this i.e. dry and no wind - though I would prefer to rain to wind, I think they had both last year!
15/10/2007 at 12:18

Definately. I must admit over the last few months I have been pretty lucky and managed to avoid most of the rain and wind whilst running. If the wind gets up on the sea front it could make things v difficult - but hey, I will enjoy it whatever (A few months ago, I wouldn't have ever thought 10 miles, running and enjoyment could be thought of in the same sentence)

15/10/2007 at 12:24

Thanks guys. I guess I will leave it at home!

 I must admit, I have almost returned home with tyre tracks over me myself, from not realising there was a cyclist behind me!

Best of luck for the race "B"

15/10/2007 at 12:40

I love my ipod - don't leave home without it, have never tripped anyone up but have been nearly pushed over LOTS of times in races by IGNORANT blokes doing that sprint through the gap then jump in front thing GGGGRRRR They are never wearing earphone - they are just stupid and ignorant and quite often I feel the need to shout at them. (sorry but it is always men/boys)

 I have run a couple of marathons without it - couple with, and have decided that it is now my pal for life -   Trick is to have one ear clear or the volume down low enough that you can hear what's going on around you. I listen to books on it too.  And I am still a real runner - despite the fact that I like to dissociate from the pain.

15/10/2007 at 18:52

Race organisers have to look at a lot of health and safety issues, as well as carry out quite a lengthy risk assessment.

This, unfortunately, has to be done these days to lessen the chances of litigation if something goes wrong.

If a runners does something during a race because they didn't hear a marshall's instructions and causes an accident that causes injury to another runner, who would be at fault? The runner who caused the accident or the organiser who let them run with an MP3 player?

Use it for training, and use it to get "psyched up" before a race - but leave it off for the race itself.

Sorry if I sound like a boring fart.

15/10/2007 at 19:17

I have to agree with GymAdddict...I always run with mine and have the headphone in my right ear only so I can still hear what is going on around me. The music can help you along when you hit a hard part of the race and I have NEVER run into anyone or not been aware of my surroundings. Richard Bacon (DJ) said that if he realises he's forgotten his mp3 playerwhen he hets to the gym he goes home again as he needs it to run and I agree, I feel lost without my music and listening to Edith Bowman on Radio 1helped me train for London where I also wore my headphones.

My suggestion would be to wear it but don't turn it on if you don't need to and then you have the choice to put it on if you feel you need to during the race.

15/10/2007 at 21:38
Can I just say to all those who say it's a health and safety issue....you must be able to hear marshalls instructions etc....are deaf runners not allowed to race for that reason?
15/10/2007 at 21:44

Deaf runners will usually pay more attention to visual signals because they know that they can't hear.

I've nearly lost an i-pod wearing runner under a car during a race because she couldn't hear my instructions.  Everyone else was avoiding the car that I was warning them about but she ran straight on. 

cougie    pirate
15/10/2007 at 21:56

Deaf runners are also deaf all of the time so have undoubtedly adapted to the real world by being more cautious.

They're not muppets who are purposely deaf when runnintg by having megadeth blasting out at 200 decibels in both ears in order to get their legs to work.

15/10/2007 at 21:57

My point is just that it's not really about not being able to hear, it's about not paying attention to your surroundings. 

 People who don't pay attention to the marshalls are just plain stupid, whether they're wearing headphones or not.

15/10/2007 at 22:09

You're absolutely right, ginag, but when someone is tired towards the end of a race they are likely to behave irrationally and find it harder to concentrate.  A shout from a marshal will be enough to catch their attention but they won't hear it if they're plugged in.

Race organisers are just trying to reduce the risks by asking people not to use headphones.  We rely on councils and the police to give permission for road races and if there's an accident it make it less likely that permission will be given again.  It's in everyone's interest to have safe races.

15/10/2007 at 22:18

Don't wear your mp3 in a race. It's discourteous to other runners, whom you might not hear as they approach and overtake. It's also potentially dangerous because you MUST be able to hear what marshals say and heed their directions. Some race directors are banning mp3s in events, for reasons that are just plain obvious. Also, from what I've observed, runners unaware of their surroundings seem unable to hold a straight line, thus posing a further hazard.

Just don't do it! 

15/10/2007 at 22:20

I do understand the need to reduce risk, I've done events both with and without headphones depending on the rules set by the organisers.  And to be honest, I don't really know which I prefer.

 What I don't like is the attitude from some on this forum (not just this thread, it's been said before) that everybody who uses an MP3 is a muppet who doesn't take their running seriously. 

I've been cut up in events, I've had people stop dead in front of me and one on my last event who kept overtaking me, going in front and then slowing down so I had to go past them.  These people were muppets and not all of them had headphones on.

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