October 5, 2022

London Marathon joins Boston in welcoming non-binary runners

London Marathon joins Boston in welcoming non-binary runners

As the oldest annual marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon often sets the standard in the running world. So when the file Boston Athletic Associationrace organizer Announced this week That it will invite non-dual athletes to compete next year without having to sign up for the men’s or women’s teams, it has sent a signal to runners like Kalamia.

“The Boston Marathon is the pinnacle of marathon running,” said Kalamia, 26, who won the non-dual division of the San Francisco Marathon this year. “So getting to hear from them is a wonderful transformation in the running community for trans and non-dual athletes.”

The policy change immediately spread throughout the sport. on Wednesday, and London Marathon added its name to a growing list of sporting events that will debut a non-binary category. Participants will be able to register as non-dualists for the 2023 race.

The Berlin Marathon will now allow athletes to update their profiles for this year’s race, on September 25, to reflect their gender identity as non-binary, according to a spokesperson for the World Marathon Majors, a series that includes the Berlin race. The identities of the non-dual racers will be reflected in this year’s results, and the race will officially add a non-dual class to its 2023 registration.

Boston and London Marathon are also part of world marathon specialty, a collection of the six largest marathons in the world. They join the New York City Marathon, which added a non-duplex division in 2021, and the Chicago Marathon, which will feature a non-duplex class for the first time this year. The other race in the series, the Tokyo Marathon, has not been announced for a non-binary field, according to the spokesperson.

Notably, the addition of the non-binary splits in the main marathon, And in other road raceshas so far had little public controversy, a stark contrast to the violent political debate surrounding the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports.

At least 18 countries It has restricted transgender sports participation in recent years. And in June, the world’s governing body for swimming effectively Transgender women banned From the highest levels of international women’s competition, the creation of a separate category for these athletes.

Taking a different route, major marathons and many other road races have allowed runners, including transgender runners, to register using the gender they identify with. But until recently, athletes were required to identify as either male or female only.

Driven largely by conversations with non-dual athletes, several marathons began discussions about adding a non-duplex class last year.

Jake Fedorovsky, who uses their pronouns, helped lead the grassroots movement last summer after trying to run a marathon.

Fedorovsky, 27, said, “I was running races and encountering a registration stand that asked me to identify me as a man or a woman. I finally put my foot on the ground and said, ‘You know what, I’m not going to give money to races that don’t affirm or celebrate my identity.’” If there is a race I want to take, I will contact the race director.”

They did just that. “I wanted to register myself,” Fedorovsky told the marathon organizer in Eugene, Oregon, last summer. The race has added the option to register as a non-dual runner for the 2023 event.

When the San Francisco Marathon included a non-dual split for the first time in July, Calamia, who is known as transitive and non-dual and uses the pronouns he and illusion, jumped at the chance, even if they weren’t at the height of the marathon form. They became the first race winner in the non-duo division with a time of 3 hours.

Next, Calamia called the Boston Marathon.

“I qualified in both the men’s and women’s criteria, but I can’t score without my set of criteria,” Kalamia recalls telling Boston organizers. “How can I run this race when I’ve qualified for it fairly and squarely?”

Conversations about embedding led Fedorowski to create a file collect resources For runners and race organisers, including A racing database with non-binary fields. By the beginning of this week, it had 228 races in the US and 20 internationally.

The new non-binary section of the Boston Marathon carries added significance because it includes qualifying criteria. Many runners spend months, if not years, trying to reach Boston’s stringent qualification standards, which are based on age and gender. It’s the gold standard for marathon qualifying times.

to me Register for a slot in the Boston MarathonWomen aged 18-34 must have run another marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes, and men ages 18-34 must meet the 3-hour time standard. (Qualification times increase as contestants get older.)

When setting qualifying times for non-dual runners, the Boston organizers said they tried to be transparent about the process, based on conversations with Kalamiya, Fedorovsky and other non-dual athletes. “We didn’t want to say, ‘Oh, we can’t do this in 2023, we’re not ready because we don’t have the data yet,'” Jack Fleming, acting CEO of the Boston Athletics Association, said.

Instead, the organizers announced that they will use the women’s current qualifying times as a benchmark for the non-dual division, with plans to update the non-dual qualifying times for future races as they gather more data.

Even with the non-duo split being established and qualifying times set, more details still had to be worked out, the contestants said.

“There are prize money, prizes, division prizes, regulations, and the list goes on and on,” Fedorovsky said. “So I’m trying to emphasize that it’s a critical step, and it’s very important, but it’s a step.”