Runners can identify as non-binary at Boston and London Marathons next year: NPR

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Runners near the finish line during the 126th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2022.

Omar Rawlings/Getty Images


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Omar Rawlings/Getty Images


Runners near the finish line during the 126th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2022.

Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Two of the best marathons in the world will allow runners to identify as non-binary when they enter the races next year.

Organizers of the 2023 Boston Marathon and 2023 TCS London Marathon say runners will have the option to enter the race as male, female or non-binary – a term used by some people who feel they don’t fit not in the male or female gender categories.

There has been a push for greater gender inclusion in sports around the world, and some athletics organizations have recently announced policies on how transgender, non-binary and other gender non-conforming people can participate in competitions.

Boston and London join other marathons that have already added the non-binary gender option, such as the New York Marathon.

“A truly inclusive marathon gives every runner a space to register, compete and be celebrated exactly as they are,” said Joanna Hoffman, spokesperson for Athlete Ally, a group that champions LGBTQI+ equality in sport. .

“The inclusion of a non-binary category in the Boston and London Marathons, following the earlier adoption of the New York Marathon, is an essential step forward. No runner should be forced to participate in a category that does not match his identity,” Hoffman added.

Non-binary runners can run in Boston, but they won’t receive prize money

In an announcement on its website, the Boston Athletic Association said qualified non-binary runners could submit an entry for next year’s race.

The group will use women’s qualifying times for non-binary contestants, as they say they don’t have enough data to set qualifying times specifically for non-binary runners.

Spokesperson Chris Lotsbom said in a follow-up email to NPR that non-binary runners will not be eligible for any prize money in the April 17 race, as runners competing in professional divisions must select a male or female in accordance with national and international rules.

“Non-binary athletes who may be eligible for invitational entry into professional fields should nominate their gender based on World Athletics, USA Track & Field, or World Para Athletics rules before competing for prize money,” a- he declared.

Lotsbom said the association offered a non-binary gender option at its 125th virtual Boston Marathon last year and had 56 participants and 42 graduates who identified as non-binary.

London Marathon strives to become ‘truly inclusive’

The London Marathon will offer all three gender options to runners entering the mass participation element of the competition, but there will be no non-binary gender choice in elite athlete races and categories Championship and Good For Age.

“This is a significant step forward for the TCS London Marathon as we continue our journey to make our event truly inclusive,” event director Hugh Brasher said in a statement.

“We know there is still a lot to do, but changes like this demonstrate our commitment to making the TCS London Marathon an event for everyone,” added Brasher.

The race is scheduled for April 23.

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