Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Day the Music Died

With Grandma's Marathon coming up on Saturday, it appears that the race still intends to prevent participants from using personal electronic devices (PEDs) on the course. Kevin Pates recently covered the issue for the Duluth News Tribune.

Up until now, it appeared that races such as Grandma's and Twin Cities Marathon were just using an obscure USATF rule to justify their ban on MP3 players and other similar devices. But it appears that USATF actually changed the rulebook in order to support road events that were looking for a reason to ban PEDs. The Running USA Wire recently included a story with the best explanation we've seen.

From the article:
"The USATF rules package contained the following justification for the rule change:
The huge proliferation of MP3 players and other audio devices using headphones by road race participants constitutes a safety hazard. These devices can prevent runners from hearing critical instructions from course monitors, police, and other race officials. Many race directors are reluctant to prohibit these devices in their races for fear of losing entrants. A firm prohibition by USATF will make it easier for these directors to justify bans on these devices in their races."

Can the new rule actually be enforced? We'll find out on Saturday. DtB will be in the Twin Ports covering all of the Grandma's weekend events.

Also, from our archives ... Jess Koski on running with headphones

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