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Marathon runners barred from using MP3 devices

An effort that reflects the USA Track and Field marathon regulations, this Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will bar contestants from using electronic devices, according to the Pioneer Press.

USA Track and Field is the governing body of competitive marathon running, which adopted the electronic rule in 2006.

Other marathons permit the use of electronics, but to be sanctioned by USA Track and Field, runners must desist from using banned devices, according to the Pioneer Press.

The USA Track and Field defines the banned devices in the language of the rules, which states infractions as "the visible possession or use by athletes of video or audio cassette recorders or players,TVs, CD or DVD players, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, or any similar devices in the competition area."

The ban is included in the USA Track and Field rulebook, according to the Pioneer Press, cited under the rulebook's section on unfair advantages, as studies have shown that audio devices can assist in cardiovascular activity.

Although, marathon officials maintain that the issue isn't advantage, it's safety. "It's really more of a safety issue," said USA Track & Field spokeswoman Jill Geer. "It's not assistance with a capital A," according to the Pioneer Press.

Last year's marathon saw over 100 runners disqualified after breaking the rule, according to KARE 11. Although the rule is nothing new to seasoned Twin Cities runners. The Twin Cities Marathon has banned electronic devices since 2000.

This Sunday's marathon is expected to draw 11,000 runners to the Twin Cities, according to Kare 11.