Athletics Magazine

Should Phones Be Banned During Races?

By Brisdon @shutuprun

I wanted to share with you a tragedy in the world of marathons. If you happen to be traveling to Hong Kong to run the marathon in February, you had better put away your phone. That is because marathon officials have banned cell phones at the race (or are at least majorly discouraging their use). Why you ask? Because last year some woman stopped to take a selfie and everyone got back up and started falling all over the place. True story (article HERE).

Should Phones Be Banned During Races?

Yeah, it might be a tad crowded to stop and take a selfie

Maybe I am in the minority but I do not understand taking pictures during a race, particularly of oneself. Are you running a race or are you sightseeing? When I run a race it is all I can do to stay upright, not crap myself and not die. I cannot imagine pulling out my camera and documenting myself in this condition. Frankly, I just wouldn't have the energy.

There is a reason that there are photographers along the race course. So that you don’t have to bring your own camera!!

In all honesty, I can’t say I’ve ever been inconvenienced by someone taking pictures while running. I’ve never had someone stop right in front of me or get in my way. I also have not been in many races where I’ve seen people taking pictures. Usually everyone around me is doing what I am doing, which is trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible.

Now, I understand that logistically it makes a lot of sense to carry your phone with you during a race if you need to find someone after, etc. But to actually use the phone to take pictures or to tweet seems odd to me. Run your race, discuss it later. Not every life experience is meant to be lived via your smartphone.

You can disagree and you probably will.

Now, animals taking selfies, well that is just completely acceptable, any day, any time:


Heidi has some work to do in the selfie department. Good thing she has a lot of spare time between sleeping, sleeping, eating, sleeping, eating and pooping.

Do you think races should ban phones/cameras? No. Maybe there should just be a rule about stepping to the sidelines if you have to take a picture. In other words, get the f%ck out of the way.

Do you carry a phone while you run races? Do you use it for pictures/selfies?


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