I do wear headsets during training runs, but have NEVER worn them during a race. Primarily a safety issue, I want to be able to hear officials with warnings if necessary. Three years ago at IM 70.3 KS they had to stop the event because of an approaching tornado.
On the bike, it is so common to ride on open roads, I don't want to risk not hearing approaching traffic. Ann's point of meeting fellow racers is a very valid point. I've enjoyed some good conversations with fellow racers as we are together on the run.
Saw this happen as well. The woman had her ipod confiscated and was escorted off the course.
I wouldn't take a chance. Just thinking of the financial expense that goes into an Ironman the last thing I would want to happen is to get DQ'd because of headphones.
I train with them all the time on the run, there are just certain songs that help during the long hours of running. I run with them on all my running races, from 5k all the way up to a marathon. As far as triathlon's no.
One surprising thought about headphones on the run during the Ironman. If I had them in I would have missed many great conversations with other runners. Hearing their stories helped pass the time and helped inspire me to move past my doubts. One thing I was a back of the pack runner, so if you planning to keep a 7 minute pace I realize talking might be a bit hard.
I've finished Louisville twice (5 IM's including KONA so far) and really liked the course.It is very similar in terrain to my old home in VA.One year it was 98 degrees when coming off the bike for the run.The second year around 78 so pay attention to heat.
YES...you will be DQ'd for running with a headset in any Ironman or USAT sanctioned race.Louisville in particular has a lot of officials on bike checking on runners because it of its insanely hot marathon.I've seen penalties given for cell phone use on the bike as well.
If you would like any inside info on the race I'd be happy to share.Both my husband and I have done that one twice.
Train safe...race happy!