Many publications are in support of the "no headphones" stance that race directors are now adhering to...and for good reason. Insurance underwriters view headphone use as a risky behavior, one that can lead to potential injuries on the race course.
Tunes have been part of my ultra scene for the past 25 years. There's something about quality 80's hair band mixes during the tough and lonely parts of a race that just makes sense.
One of my favorite transitions was making it to horse camp the second
time around red loop at the Mohican 100. That was as far as my pace would take me prior to full dark, and I would strap on a headlight, plug in the earphones and head into the night.
In the early years - prior to MP3 - I could pick up one weak FM signal, where the night DJ would put five songs into rotation, interspersed with one office supply store ad. It was great listening: Just me, Britney Spears and the Mohican wilderness.
Now, there are options. If you haven't done so, check out www.podrunner.com, www.competitorradio.com and www.enduranceplanet.com. I love to download training tunes and podcasts from endurance sport experts. I may be suffering during a uphill, but when Dave Scott tells his side of the battle with Mark Allen at Ironwars, my feet start to fly.
So, for those who want to ban the tunes, I can understand. But I can't embrace a trend that will outlaw me from enjoying Uriah Heep and Montrose and Grand Funk live...deep into the night, on trails far from any man or traveled road.
As Dennis Miller would say, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.