London and Boston Marathons Set To Include a Non-Binary Gender Category In 2023

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The Guardian recently reported that both the London and Boston Marathons will include a non-binary gender category for the upcoming 2023 races.

For the first time, race applicants will be able to select from “Men,” “Women,” or “Non-Binary” gender categories during registration.

The race organizers for both events hope that this option will promote inclusion in the sport and the diversity in self-identification.

For the London Marathon, the non-binary category will be included in the mass start but not the elite start.

London Marathon runners standing at Start Line

For the Boston Marathon, which notoriously requires all applicants to meet strict age- and gender-specific qualifying times, non-binary athletes will be required to meet the qualifying standards for women based on their age since the BAA reports not yet having enough data to establish specific non-binary qualifying time.

With that said, race organizers note that this will be a goal for upcoming races. 

The trend toward adding a separate non-binary gender category for athletes who self-identify as non-binary or a gender other than male or female is starting to take foot, according to Jake Fedorowski, the creator of an online guide to non-binary inclusion in the sport.

The guide, which is sponsored by the Road Runners Club of America and Seattle Frontrunners, notes that there are currently over 200 races across the United States that have added a non-binary division for athletes.

Runners can access the database here, and are encouraged to submit information about additional races that also offer a non-binary race category for participants.

a picture of marathon runners in a race

For example, the popular Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathons, which took place in April 2022 races, had over 80 athletes competing in the non-binary category.

The prestigious London Marathon will take place on April 17, 2023, while the Boston Marathon will take place on April 23, 2023, marking the 127th consecutive running of the race and the 10-year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.

Runners who are interested in running or spectating at either race can learn more about the London Marathon here and the Boston Marathon here.

And as always, check out our completely free marathon training plan database and training resources.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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