ROADS LESS TRAVELED RELAY'S 'NO HEADPHONES POLICY'
It's for your safety
Many runners ask why headphones are not permitted and will be grounds for immediate disqualification for the entire team. The reason is simple - it is for your safety.
Relay races are not held on a closed course - you will be running on the shoulders of roads with traffic. In addition, our courses are very rural - there are wild animals (black bear, moose, and mountain lions/cougars), not to mention dogs, idiot - possibly intoxicated - drivers. So running down the road with your ears shut off from reality is one of the most unsafe things you can do.
I know this policy is not popular, but triathlons, which are also held on open roads, have this same policy, and athletes accept this rule. An acceptable alternative are little speakers that clip on shirts or if your MP3 player, a radio has speakers, or the bone conduction headphones. Those options are fine, but any device that is stuffed in one or both ears is prohibited.