London and Boston Marathons to accommodate non-binary athletes in 2023 races

While the Boston Marathon is introducing a new race category, the London Marathon is opting to allow runners in its mass participation event to register their gender as non-binary.

The London Marathon, where athletes can now register as non-binary.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Both the London and Boston Marathons have announced that non-binary athletes will be able to compete in the 2023 races without having to chose either the male or female category. The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) made the announcement on Monday, September 12, with the UK capital’s event unveiling similar news on Wednesday, September 14.

Runners in the US race now have the option of registering to compete in a non-binary category for the first time ever. In general, Boston Marathon participants are required to meet strict qualifying times, however, because there is not yet enough data to establish an appropriate qualifying time for the non-binary category, it will use the same as is used in the women’s division.

“Discussions are ongoing with non-binary athletes in an effort to further promote inclusion at all BAA events,” the American organisation stated.

“As we prepare for future races, participants can expect non-binary times to be updated accordingly,” the BAA added.

Responding to the news, lululemon ambassador and professional runner Nikki Hiltz said: “There’s still so much work to be done but I’m thrilled that non-binary runners are being acknowledge by the Boston Marathon and @BAA.”

The 2023 edition of the most popular running event in the US takes place on Monday, April 17, and will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  

For the London Marathon, the elite, ‘championship’, and ‘good for age’ races and their prizes will continue to be segregated into male and female categories only, while the mass participation event will allow for athletes to register their gender as non-binary. London Marathon Events Director Hugh Brasher described the development as a “significant step” in improving the inclusivity of the race.

“Changes such as this demonstrate our commitment to making the London Marathon for everyone,” he said.

Trans charity Mermaids commended the decision on social media, tweeting: “Gold Medal for the organisers!”

The London Marathon will take place in the English city on April 23, 2023.

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