I usually have them in on low volume, so that if I am given an instruction by a marshall I can still hear it and comply. However, I understand it is easier to manage a race when everbody can clearly hear you (i.e. without headphones).
I would like to say that this race was very well marshalled and even in the muddy woodland section the tree roots were marked with yellow paint! Conditions were great today too, a little windy but hey it is the Mersey!
Just to add the reason I listen to music, is that I hate to hear the sound of my own panting! It majorly puts me off.! Im sure if I continue to run in races (without headphoens)...I will overcome this.