I was watching part of the "Today show" before I left for work. There was a clip on there about the music ban on marathons. US Track and field apparently made that rule this year to ensure safety. While some marathons did follow the rule and disqualify any runner using such devices, others did not. The NYC marathon this weekend has decided not to follow suit as there are 38,000 runners. Policing that many runners would be very difficult indeed, especially since devices keep getting smaller and smaller.
As a runner, I sit on the fence on this one. When I got my ipod back last March, I originally found it very helpful on my long runs. Since discovering podcasts, I mostly listen to that these days. Although the issue is safety and communication between runner, I've found there is capability of doing both. For me, even though I listen to music on my runs, I still remain very vigilant of my environment. I think for the majority of people, running is for recreation, so if a little pick me up helps, then why not? Ultimately, those who are very competitive will likely not use any music devices and focus more on their bodies, breathing, time, etc. In the end, however, everyone wants to get to the finish line whether its with or without music.