The record turnout at Sunday’s Beverley 10K was overshadowed by the fact 48 runners were disqualified, post-race, for wearing headphones. Justification for the decision centred upon the health and safety rules – and recent regulations outlined by UK Athletics – that were sent to all competitors via email before the event.
The East Yorkshire race celebrated its 23rd staging in fine summer weather with its largest field to date. Over 1600 runners made their way from the start point at Minster, around Westwood to a finish at Toll Gravel.
Yet of those to complete the distance, 48 were disqualified for breaching regulations by listening to music. On the decision to enforce the rule, co-organiser Andy Tate commented: "If runners are wearing headphones then they can't hear the race marshals giving them instructions and directions. We've always tried to advise people before the race and warn them that we will disqualify them if they're seen wearing them.’
The events at Beverley arrive shortly after the publication of the new International Association of Athletics Federations/UK Athletics Rules, which states that the use of headphones (other than those medically prescribed), is not ‘permitted in races on any single carriageway road that is not wholly closed to traffic'.
While the decision to disqualify 48 runners from the event may look harsh, it seems race organisers were following and implementing the recent regulations outlined by the UKA: rules that will surely remain a contentious subject for those who like to listen to music on the run.
On the race front, Kris Lecher and Carla Stansfield enjoyed the sounds of applause from those who came to cheer on the athletes as they topped their respective fields in 32:45 and 37:55.