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Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon: Do you need music on race day?

The local Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon is Saturday, Nov. 10. I’m running the half marathon. Every day this week, I’ll devote a blog post to a race-related topic. Today’s discussion: music. Is it essential to your race-day performance, or do you consider it a distraction?

I got serious about running a few years ago, but completed my first headphone-accompanied race in January 2012. That was a half marathon, and I've listened to my tunes during almost every subsequent race.

My initial lack of music wasn't so much a conscious avoidance, but rather a lack of modern technology. Hey, it happens.

The Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon has allowed headphones in years past, and I assume Saturday will be no different. But I know plenty of runners will refuse to listen to music. Why? For starters, it's a large race and observing the sights and sounds is enough to avoid boredom. Also, music will be played along the course, according to the event's official website.

In addition to the safety concerns that come with being unable to hear, music can make for some logistical problems during a race. For example, I've yet to find an armband that fits properly, so I have to hold my iPhone/iPod during the race. It's no big deal during a 5K, but it gets a little annoying during longer distances.

The upside, of course, is motivation. Most runners have "That Song" -- a melody with potential to miraculously lift you through the most agonizing aches and pains.

Weigh in, runners: Where do you stand in the music debate? While you ponder that question, I'll leave you with one of my favorite motivational tunes. Go ahead and judge.

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