Is a musicless marathon fun?

And the beat goes on…or perhaps not. A recent marathon runner’s title was revoked for violating a new marathon rule: no electronics.

Jennifer Goebel, 27, was handed the first-place spot after the official winner of the marathon, 23-year-old Cassie Peller, was disqualified for accepting water from a spectator during the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee.

Apparently the rule was put in place for safety reasons, not having anything to do with the unfair card. But officials have also hinted that portable music players give runners who are wearing them during races an unfair advantage over those who aren’t.

Yikes! Have race officials forgotten why we have events like these in the first place? Fun! Yes, music might get you excited, or make you forget that cramp in your tummy, but since when are these races boot camp? I say until you can scientificallyprove that it’s an advantage, let the racers decide what they do to get their bodies across the finish line.

I, for one, vary when it comes to suiting up with my iPod. If I’m heading to the gym to do some cardio, then I MUST have it on. And it’s got to be loud. Loud enough to drown out the sound of people singing along to their music, chatting about so-and-so’s uneven haircut and the inconsistent whapping of heavy feet against a treadmill track. Those make me want to go batty when I’m trying to daze into a running high-induced mind warp. Same goes for running in an area where there’s heavy traffic. As if it’s bad enough I have to engulf your car’s disgusting fumes, the honking and other noises are beyond aggravating.

On the contrary, if I’m trail running, I leave the ear buds at home. And I do it for a few reasons. I love the soundtrack nature provides. It’s not everyday you get to spend an hour or so listening to the birds communicate, or the wind playing chimes on the tree’s leaves. I also like listening to my body. I want to hear my breathing patterns as I switch up paces, and try to evaluate my stride as I analyze my strikes on the pavement. But most importantly, I do it for safety. I want to be fully aware of my surroundings when I’m all by myself in a heavily wooded area. Justin Timberlake blaring on your iPod isn’t exactly a defense mechanism when considering who could be watching or following you and planning an attack.

Tell me: Is this electronics ban an unnecessary rule, or do you agree that these accessories provide some a leg up? Do you run with headphones on? Or are you happy listening to the beat of your feet?

3 thoughts on “Is a musicless marathon fun?

  1. haha yeah I go through phases lately where it’s like I need it all the time and then some days I just want to listen to the birds. My running playlist needs a serious update, though! Any song suggestions?

  2. I am with you – I like my tunes, but I usually run trail/mountain runs without my ipod. I like to have my ipod during road races but I don’t have to have it! I like this blog – it’s great. I saw your post about peachtree – I used to live in ATL (grew up in Roswell).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *