Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Should IPod’s be banned from organized Racing? Are runners at risk?

The Big Island International Marathon’s Board of Directors considered banning Ipod’s from each of their three road races in March.   After reading the following it has been decided not to impose the ban, but IPod use will be discouraged.   What do you think?

Runners need to be responsible when they run. Running with music can be motivating; however, running with headphones can be dangerous. Most roads on the race courses are partially closed but not completely closed to vehicle traffic. Racers must absolutely be alert and completely aware of their surroundings and need to be able to easily hear vehicle traffic, emergency vehicles as well as instructions on the course from the police, traffic control or race course officials as well as be able to hear other runners. Additionally, our race courses are very unique and scenic; we suggest you take it all in with all of your senses – sight, smell and sound. If you choose to wear headphones, it’s up to you to find the safe volume level that helps you without putting yourself or others in danger. While USA Track and Field has lifted the ban on headphones in non-championship races, we say give your iPod a rest for one day and take in all the great experiences of this race.

The above information was forwarded to the Big Dog from UHH professor David Hammes.

Some volunteers have already voiced their concern and the BIIM B of D will again discuss this issue at its Feb 16, 2012 meeting.  Participants comments are encouraged as I will bring them to the B of D meeting in Feb when this topic is discussed.

December 24, 2011 - Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , ,


  1. I love that the race allows them. I am less likely to run a race that bans the use of headsets. As a somewhat new runner, I always run with my headset, it is my personal motivation. I also feel to ban them doesn’t make total sense if it is for safety reasons, as there are plenty of hearing impaired runners. Will we ban them from races? As long as we are aware of safety hazards and pay attention, I feel they should be allowed. We sign a waiver anyway.

    Comment by Ashley | December 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. Definitly NO…If we are old enough to run a race we are old enough to make our own choices as to whether we want to wear IPODs while running.
    Plus who do u think is going to do the policing?
    The Race Director has enough to do on race day without having to deal with 1 more thing!

    Comment by J.N | December 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. I enjoy running listening to my playlist on my iPod, which motivates and helps me complete my long runs. Please do not ban the use of iPods during the races!!!

    Comment by Kukini05 | December 28, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thank you for allowing the use of iPods. I will continue to use mine when I run and will use it during the race as well.

    Comment by ellen | December 29, 2011 | Reply

  5. It is unfortunate folks like to withdraw into their own iPod world and not talk with or associate with others or listen to the world around them during the marathon. However there should be no ban on folks that desire this option it is simply the difference between folks on one side that are gregarious and those on the other that are more introverted. Basic human characteristics. Those that do wear iPods should recognize that they are taking a chance of not hearing a potential warning sign that could jeopardize their safety.

    Comment by Clyde | January 2, 2012 | Reply

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