Athletics South Africa has banned iPods from all races. I won’t even try to get the logic behind this decision. Apparently it comes for the cycling world with the controversy over the use of ear pieces to get information from team managers and coaches about the race and opponents. ASA took this further and banned all electronic devices connected to ear pieces or something like that.
Now I wonder how someone can receive info via an iPod. Maybe I can record a motivational message that can give me an unfair advantage…? For decades top runners have been receiving information from the side of the road, written on water bottles, pieces of paper or just shouted out. What’s the difference? Receiving it via a device in your ear or having it shouted to you as you run past your coach? You may also not use your cell phone with a headphone or ear piece. Wonder if you can still carry it and phone someone to come and pick you up if you run into trouble and want to bail out of a race? What about just a MP3 player?
Anyway, this is dumb! If they want to make stupid rules for the top runners that’s fine, but to ban something like this totally is a joke. I never run with music anyway so I don’t get affected by this myself. Not that many runners run with earphones in races. In SA running is a very social affair and once you get to being a regular runner, you’ll rather enjoy the company of those around you than listen to your iPod.
We’ll have to see if and how they enforce this rule. I wonder if any other country will do something stupid like this.
Whatever and wherever you’re running or not running this weekend, enjoy! For something inspirational, have a look at this post by Dave.