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Marathon Runner Disqualified For Using MP3 Player During Race

Lesson Learned: Don't Run a Marathon With an iPod

I can't make it more than a few miles without some driving tunes in my ear, so running a 25 mile race sans iPod would be out of the question. Thankfully, I'm not looking to win a marathon anytime soon, but if I was, I'd know that running with an iPod is a dangerous move if I want to take home the gold. Take for example, the winner of the recent Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon winner, Jennifer Goebel, who was disqualified after being photographed during the race with an iPod in her pocket.

The racer says she only listened to her playlist during the latter part of the race (you know, when you hit the proverbial "wall"), and although the rules of the marathon state that the judges have a choice to ignore the "no iPod rule" of the traditional race, this group took her medal and sent her packing. It's true — most marathon races do have a ban on MP3 players during the race, but if the judges don't have to acknowledge it, why would they?

Do you run marathons? If so, have you strapped on your MP3 player for the race?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
T-S T-S 7 years
"You,re not allowed water between stations? Or from someone else? Man, I bet a lot of people pile get their race tshirts taken if they enforced that one." Um, sorry. I was posting from my phone, those typos are awful! Runningesq, thanks! That makes sense. I hadn't considered it as outside aid. It seems like there's a huge difference between having someone change your flat and taking a sip of a friend's water, but just like with the headphones, if I were seriously competing to win I'd be careful to follow the rules to the letter. Anonymous, I have run without music. I have run with music, and sometimes I run with podcasts. My preference is to run with music. I haven't the faintest idea why you care.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I don't know who TW is, but T S, I agree with you. I'm sure people don't "need" music to run, but they find it more enjoyable with music. I know music actually helps me keep pace. I've run without music many times, but when I think it's more enjoyable to run with music. And I like the household chores analogy. It makes perfect sense to me.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
T S: you aren't allowed "outside support" in many races. I know that for tris you cannot have friends/ family members help, say, change a flat tire.
T-S T-S 7 years
You,re not allowed water between stations? Or from someone else? Man, I bet a lot of people pile get their race tshirts taken if they enforced that one.
vanillabean vanillabean 7 years
Wow! I'm not a runner (obviously), and never knew of such a rule. That's awful for your runners/marathoners!
popemily popemily 7 years
Not all marathons have the "no iPod" rule. I ran the Portland Marathon last weekend and they are openly iPod friendly. I have no idea what I would have done without my Nano. But marathon runners, especially competative ones, know to check the rules before the race. So I can't say I feel too bad for that runner.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
It's not a stupid idea, Anon. A lot of people jack up the volume on their headphones and become oblivious to everything going on around them. They need to hear people passing them and be aware of medical emergencies. On an un-safety related note -- you miss a lot of the race atmosphere while running with headphones, IMO
T-S T-S 7 years
I always check the rules when I run a race to see if they specifically prohibit headphones. The last one I did actually said it did not allow headphones, but there were two pictures of runners wearing them in the promotional materials! I used to not wear mine, but I agree with the above comment that unless you actually think you're going to win, it's not a big deal. I mean, if I was aiming to come in first I definitely wouldn't wear mine, but since I'm just out there for fun and not to compete I don't see what the big deal is. If I do listen to music or anything else I only put it on one ear and keep the volume low. If the spirit of the rule is safety, then there should be no issue. "Anyone who "needs" music to run is really missing the point." Whatever. My guess is anyone who says they need music to run is using hyperbole. There's nothing wrong with preferring to listen to music. I like listening to music while I do housework. House still gets clean, even if I'm not having a zen moment.
syako syako 7 years
I don't know, when I race I am competing even though I am not an elite runner by any means, I'm still competing against everyone out there, not just myself.
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 7 years
i ran a half marathon and didn't bring my ipod because the rules banned it but then i saw all those people running with it and was mad. i was running solo and really needed my playlists to get me through the last four miles. it sucked! i would never do it again without music unless i ran with friends.
VeganDragan VeganDragan 7 years
Not to mention that the pack runners are running sometimes for two to three times the time period as elite athletes.
VeganDragan VeganDragan 7 years
I ran the LA marathon and used my ipod to track the distance and my pace with Nike+. It was really helpful, not to mention motivating. I think that while the ban for elite athletes is understandable, I think the average "pack" runner should be allowed the use of music. Because at that point, your only "competition" is yourself.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
The whole point of athletic competitions if that everyone competes under the same set of rules, so, even if the judges could have ignored the rule, I'm glad they didn't. I understand the argument that this is a silly rule (though I'm not sure I agree with it), but rules are rules.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
good catch, Anon. and trust me, those last 1.2 miles are loooooong.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
She knew the rule and she broke it. tough tiddleywinks.
carmenspace carmenspace 7 years
I use music during training, but on race day I don't use it. It gets too distracting when you're trying to keep an eye on the course, aid stations, keeping an eye on whats going on. I like taking in my surroundings. I only use ipods during a race if I really need it, like hitting the wall after mile 20.
syako syako 7 years
Not safe. You're distracted and you can't hear what's going on around you, according to the rulemakers that is...
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