This is a serious post. Today’s Times reports on the increased use of mouthpeices in sports. Not the ones football players wear, but ones designed to improve breathing.

This post isn’t on whether they work or don’t.

These things cost big bucks. The cheap one starts at $495.

Let’s assume they improve performance. I don’t think running races should allow use of a device that improves one’s physical performance, particularly one that is expensive. I realize that there are all manner of discrepancies, including between the richer and poorer runners — training facilities, PT-facilities, etc. It seems, though, that a device like this is on the wrong side of the line, perhaps as a combination of its performance-enhancing (I say we assume that) and its price. One of the raps against triathlons is the premium placed on expensive gear and how this skews participants to the richer side.

Right now, when we get to the starting line, we’re all pretty much in the boat. I’d hate to see that change. And I wonder if it’s permitted under current USATF rules. Anyone know?

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