14 Sep

MP3Gate At Wetherby 10K

Wetherby 10k

19 runners were disqualified at last weekend's Wetherby 10k for failing to abide by the 'No headphones rule' stipulated in the conditions of the race. Event director, Rob Gray, has since confirmed the competitor's times will not be officially recorded due to the infringement.

The race, organised by Wetherby Runners AC, is known as 'A Cracking Little Yorkshire Run' and has been on the calendar since 2006, regularly attracting up to 1000 runners.

In addition to the rule being highlighted on the entry form, the PA made 3 separate announcements on the morning of Sunday's race. Director Rob Gray told scottishrunningguide.com: "The runners with headphones cannot hear the words of warning from race marshals on the route. They were warned it would happen. We are BARR Gold Graded and had two senior assessors there on the day, who returned a favourable report."

In a BBC Radio 5 interview earlier this week, Rob further defended his position, saying: "The rule is there for the benefit and safety of others taking part. There are a significant number of people that take part and runners do vigorously engage themselves through a farmyard and a narrow road, meaning we need to make a risk-assessment."

The use of headphones varies depending on the event, with most international races permitting participants to wear them. With many runners relying on their favourite playlist to help them through training, and studies proving that can also provide psychological and psychophysical benefits, there is an argument to be made that MP3 players should be allowed during events.

That said, if organisers prohibited their use and it wasn't properly enforced, there would surely be a wider concern over issues of liability and the safety of the rest of the field.

What are your thoughts on the use of MP3 players during races? Would you enter an event that doesn't allow music?

Comments

  1. Robert said...

    I feel that runners should abide by whatever rules are in place and if that is no mp3 players then so be it. I do not run and move them out of the way of a car. It is a debate though and I do know that music helps people, so if the race says you can fine, if the race says you can't then you should abide by it
  2. _andy said...

    Well done to the organisers for enforcing this important safety rule. The idiots that ignored the rule probably never heard any of the repeated announcements, which proves a point. If you want to stay in your own bubble of music, that's fine if you're training, but misses out on the great atmosphere during a race. How about the headline, "Runner killed by car on country lane during organised race", followed by a media with-hunt saying, "organisers never enforced their no-headphones rule and are being taken to court over this avoidable loss of life"? There's a good reason for the rules and the organisers should be commended for making the difficult decision to apply them.
  3. Alan said...

    I run with music, I walk to work with music, I have music on at home all the time, BUT, if the organisers say no then it's no. No inbetween, no grey area, NO. I took part in a 10k 3 weeks ago that said no earphones, so I didn't use them & never have in any other race I've done, nobody's cheering you when you train but they are on race day, that should be more than enough.
  4. Paula said...

    Nobody forces you to enter a particular race and if the rules don't suit you then you shouldn't enter it in the first place. There are plenty of races out there which allow headphones/music so just go find one of those instead.
  5. Steve Head said...

    Well done Wetherby Runners..........about time organisers enforced this rule for the safety of everyone taking part
  6. Sharon Parkin said...

    I don't use earphones and don't generally mind what others do, but at last year's Loch Ness 10k I had the same girl run into me twice because she ran sideways with earphones on without checking over her shoulder!!! She was oblivious to the problem she was causing as I had to dodge her each time. If you're wearing headphones, please (like most people do) be aware of what's going on around you and don't behave like a solo runner!
  7. Stuart said...

    I ran the Crathes Half at the weekend and this problem has evolved. As a runner beside me had his iphone on his arm band, no headphones in, but was playing his music through the speaker for all to hear. I ran a very long mile with some bad music.
  8. Jemma said...

    Oh shush, you killjoys. I wouldn't want to run without music. What 'atmosphere' during a race are you talking about? I'm generally running far too fast (thanks to the beat of the music through my headphones) to want to speak to anybody during the race. It's still possible to smile and wave at supporters, thank marshals for water and be aware of where other runners are even with music playing. Many headphones allow ambient sound, and just because you have them on doesn't mean to have to have them on so loudly that they block out other noise. I wouldn't enter a race that banned music. Did the organisers make this rule explicit on the entry page? This is just another example of nanny-state Britain, and all of you complaining about other people need to get a grip. Try enjoying the races you enter instead of grumbling about everyone else.
  9. Kirsty said...

    I'm glad a race is finally enforcing this rule. Many state it in their rules but never enforce it so thats why people continue to do it as they assume "oh I got away with it at that race, I'll just do it again". If you want to participate you have to abide by the organisers rules - they've not put them there for no reason!
  10. Pam said...

    Jemma apparently they did, Well done to organisers for enforcing the rule if only more did. Its for everyones safety including those who don't run with headphones as running with headphones you can't be completely aware of things going on around you
  11. Darren said...

    Well done on enforcing the rule. It is not only health and safety issues for the runner wearing the headphones. I have also found such runners are totally unaware of their surroundings. I have nearly been tripped by a runner wearing headphones cutting across my path several times. Very annoying!!
  12. Graeme Wilson said...

    I'm not in favour of a ban, I think people should be allowed to choose what to do. I don't wear a music player in races but runners some want to. The organisers should say " We recommend that you do not wear a music player for safety reasons but if you choose to do so, it's at you own risk". But if the rule has been made, it should be enforced, so I support the actions of the race organisers
  13. Sascha said...

    @Jemma: "What 'atmosphere' during a race are you talking about?" If you took your headphones off you might find out. If you don't enjoy the feeling of being in a big group of runners, or being swept along by cheering from spectators, then you're wasting your money by going to races. You may as well run on your own.
  14. Michelle Brown said...

    The rules are there for the runners' safety. JogScotland coaches don't allow headphones as you can't hear if they give you instruction and it's no different during a race, if a steward is trying to give you warning of something and you can't hear because "Oh I NEED my music" well if you can't manage to run without music you probably need to ask yourself how good a runner you are in the first place! Race organisers absolutely did the right thing and if you don't follow the rules then it's your loss!
  15. Iain said...

    Quite right, have to agree with the organisers, whilst music is good when running safety comes first.