To comply with Health and Safety best practice, the BHAA committee has a long standing rule banning the use of headphones during a race. It was alarming and disappointing to see a few runners at last week’s first race of 2019 wearing headphones. This requirement is prominently displayed in the registration hall at all BHAA races.
The wearing of headphones may have insurance implications for BHAA and especially for those wearers, who could be injured themselves or cause injury to others during a race.
Cant hear advice and warnings
With headphones on, one can’t properly and clearly hear advice from race organisers, stewards and fellow runners, relating to hazards and incidents, such as intrusions or a fallen runner, on the course. A stumbling runner behind a wearer, can often avoid a collision by shouting a warning to those ahead. These warnings go unheard by the Headphone wearer. There are races on public road and near paths in parks, where there is a risk of collision and intruders, for example young children or unattended dogs.
Finish and results
Finally runners wearing headphones cannot hear advice on finishing the race in relation to maintaining their finishing place in the queue and returning race numbers for processing. Accurate and timely results can be disrupted by out of sequence runners after the finish line, causing the majority a longer wait for accurate results.
We on the BHAA Committee are tasked with the organisation and management of a safe environment for all runners, so I would urge runners to ditch their headphones, while the race is in progress and soak up the joys of the sounds and sights of racing “with the wind in their hair”. I urge those involved to co-operate please.
In the interest of your own safety and others, please do not wear headphones during a race