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Posted: January 29, 2009  :

Athletics: Headphone Ban Lifted at Grandma’s Marathon

USATF Rule Amended to Allow Music Devices on Course

(Duluth, Minn.) Participants in Grandma’s Marathon’s races this June will once again be allowed to use headphones, race officials have announced.

USA Track & Field (USATF) recently amended rule 144.3(f) effectively lifting its previously imposed ban on headphones and other music devices. USATF is the governing body for long distance running events in the United States.

In 2006, the organization instituted a ban on the use of headphones and other music devices at all USATF-sanctioned running events, which include Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K. USATF adopted the rule in an effort to increase runner safety.

“The safety of our participants will always be a priority at our events, as we want everyone to have an enjoyable experience on the course,” says Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma’s Marathon.

While participants will be allowed to wear headphones, officials encourage runners to consider participating without them as a way to enhance their overall race experience. “We think our course atmosphere along the shores of Lake Superior is as good as any in the country,” says Keenan. “There is nothing quite like hearing the thousands of enthusiastic volunteers, spectators and entertainers that we have along the course. Speaking from experience, it’s extremely motivational.”

In accordance with the USATF rule, Grandma’s Marathon had enforced the headphone ban at its races for the past two years. “We have consistently enforced USATF rules and we will continue to support its rules, regulations and recommendations,” adds Keenan.

Registration for the 33rd running of Grandma’s Marathon opened January 15. The field is nearly 60 percent full as 5,500 runners have registered to date for the 9,500 available slots. Last year, the race reached its field capacity on April 7.

Grandma's Marathon weekend also features the 19th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the 16th annual William A. Irvin 5K. Registration for those two events will begin in February and March, respectively. The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is Saturday, June 20 at 6:30 a.m. and the William A. Irvin 5K is Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m.

For more information on any of Grandma's Marathon’s races or events, visit or call (218) 727-0947.

2009 Grandma’s Marathon Online Registration Schedule

Grandma's Marathon (Limited to first 9,500 entrants)

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (4,500 entrants selected via lottery)
Lottery registration open from Feb. 18 until 8 a.m. on March 2 

William A. Irvin 5K (Limited to first 1,500 entrants)
Registration opens Wednesday, March 18 

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