ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Runners taking to the streets during Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon won't be able to use headphones or other electronic devices.
The ban is so serious that more than 100 racers were disqualified last year for breaking the rule. Future violators could face a lifetime ban.
Headphones became an issue as small electronic devices became more popular among runners and as more less-competitive runners began competing in marathons -- leading to scenes where back-of-the-pack runners have been listening to headphones, taking photos, talking on cell phones or sending text messages during races.
Some say the music offers a competitive edge. Some say safety is also an issue, as runners may get distracted.
The Twin Cities Marathon has banned electronic devices since 2000. GPS devices, watches and heart-rate monitors are exceptions to the rule.
About 11,000 runners are expected to participate in Sunday's race.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)