Just got a note today from the race director of the Rocky Racoon.
I call bullshit. This "pet peeve" was nowhere on their website, and as of this post, still isn't. C'mon folks. It's not like there's scenery we're missing.
This issues is a non-issue with most RDs these days. I'd have not trained for this if I had known it was an issue for this RD. Twelve hours is a long damned time for me to be lost in my thoughts. I am not a chatty cathy when I'm running.
I've had race directors say that this is a safety issue, when parts of the race are in heavily trafficked areas. This race is inside a state park. I just have to assume that someone finds them annoying. When I googled SITE:TEJASTRAILS.COM HEADPHONES what I found were a couple of race reports from previous years where people talked about putting on their headphones. Eight this is a brand new rule, or other people have been ignoring it.
I'm going to start writing ultra race directors in the future and asking about this. If they say no headphones, I'm not paying a race fee, not training for, and not doing their race. I can understand that some people find them annoying, but I find lots of things annoying, so what? I don't expect that my absense will make much impact, but it will make me feel better.
That said, maybe some day I'll direct a race. If I did, maybe I could ban things that annoy me:
* Really skinny-legged guys in baggy shorts
* People who are unnecessarily cheerful late into the race
* Ham sandwiches. Seriously. Ham? When did that become a race food?
I've heard people say that it gives others an "unfair advantage" although this was never completely explained to me. Seriously? Well, then, as race director, my new rules to make everything fair would be:
* No caffein
* No ibuprofen
* Bring your own food
* Random UAs
* People with BMIs higher than 25 get a head start.
And then, about a week before the race, I'll send out one mass email that says
ALL RUNNERS MUST WEAR AT LEAST EIGHT DIFFERENT COLORS.
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