Thank goodness! Those of us that like to run with music can now do so without being disqualified from races. In December 2008, the USATF officially relaxed their ban on headphones during races. It seems others had the same rant as me and enough complaints got them to reverse their decision for non-competitive runners. Only those competing in a Championship for prize money (i.e., elite athletes, which I am not) are still banned from using headphones during races. Although, the rule does leave it up the the race director to allow or ban headphones from the race, but it appears they will be allowed while being strongly discouraged. The office press release is at:
Now, I am all for safety during races, but I have not had a lot of problems with people who could not be communicated with during a race, which is why I had a problem with their initial ruling. Most people have their headphones on, but at a decent level to still hear things going on around them. At least I know I do and so do others I run with. Personally, I think the start line is more dangerous than running with headphones. I have seen people trampled when the start gun goes off and everyone is trying to get out of the gate. So, while I see the USATF point, I don't necessarily agree with it. There are lots of areas where safety could be approved. I'm just glad to have my music back to keep me moving.