I am going to my first organized run. I picked up the packet today. It came with a t-shirt, and a number. Should I show up wearing the shirt, with the number pinned to the front? Or is the t-shirt for wearing after?

Also, I've thought about bringing my music and headphones, like I do when I run for exercise. Some say I should not bring headphones at all (and that they might actually be banned, I'm just reading about it on running websites.) Should I leave the music and phone at home, then?

  • 3
    This may be a question better suited for the organizers of whichever event you are participating in.
    – Alec
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 0:19
  • 2
    @Alec - likely there's a common protocol for races Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 0:53
  • @horsehair - As Eric says, it's purely personal preference. I'm of the superstition I never wear any event shirt until after the event, as the couple times I've worn it early I have had problems. YMMV. :)~
    – JohnP
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 18:02

2 Answers 2


I'll answer this under the in-scope topics of "gear and gadgets used during exercise", and also because I had similar questions when I was running a lot and good experiences in your competitions can make you comfortable to do more. If anyone disagrees, you know where the close button is.

Generally people don't wear the race t shirt on race day, but that's entirely your call. The custom as I've heard it described to me is that you don't wear a shirt for a race you haven't finished yet.

Put the pins on a shirt you're comfortable running in, and even go for a run around the block to make sure the pins don't rub.

Regarding music, I ran and raced with music on. I listen to music all the time and honestly I probably wouldn't do a race where it was banned. If you get any heat, maybe see if it's just a two-ear thing where if you have one earbud in you're okay.

  • 1
    I ran today. Some people wore the race t-shirt, most didn't. Either way it wasn't a big deal. The whole thing was very informal - show up, get into your category group, and run. Some people wore earphones but I've read about them being banned elsewhere. I think not having music added to the experience. Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 18:15

Though Eric Kaufman got the answer straight, I just wanna pitch in on the following statement:

Some say I should not bring headphones at all (and that they might actually be banned, 
I'm just reading about it on running websites.)

As a seasoned runner I've ran in different countries and did different kind of races (track, trail, road,...).

Most races are run on a closed circuit (e.g. no regular traffic on the road). Hence there is no real threat for the runner. The roads itself are wide enough for other runners to pass you. So therefor there is no risk for you (as runner) to wear headphones and to be absent about whats happening behind/around you.

Trail-runs however are something entirely different. Some are indeed closed circuit or have volunteers keeping the road open for you to cross it. However there are as many trails where the roads are not closed for the regular traffic. Or where the tracks are very narrow and slower runners might hold up the faster runners.

Therefor the organisations often demand the runners to avoid using headphones for their safety and the enjoyment for all runners.In those cases you have to be aware of your surroundings! Because nobody likes to get run over, attacked by a wild animal or get hold up behind an other runner.

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