Chariots of Ire: Marathon Runner’s iPod Gets Her Disqualified

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A Milwaukee marathon runner was stripped of her win after race officials discovered she was listening to her iPod for part of the run.

Jennifer Goebel, 27, was technically the first runner-up in the Lafefront Marathon when it was determined that "official" winner Cassie Peller had accepted a non-official water bottle from a friend, rather than an official water station.  Peller's disqualification gave Goebel the win — until photos of her listening to her iPod late in the race surfaced.  According to a USA Track and Field rule, runners competing for USATF championships or cash are forbidden to use electronic devices.

The rule has been under debate as of late, with the USATF allowing race directors to decide whether to ban the devices at races.  Under current interpretations of the rule, mid-pack runners may use a musical boost, but elite competitors may not.

Goebel is understandably miffed by the ruling.  "I wasn't listening to it earlier in the race," she said. "I wasn't going to put the music on unless I thought I needed it…If you're bored, it pumps you up a little bit. Sometimes, on a long training run, I'll bring it along for the last half hour. When I run marathons sometimes I carry it and never put it on."  She is challenging the ruling, but admitted she was willing to give up the US$500.00 first prize to retain her win.

[Via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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