Boston Marathon adds option for non-binary runners in 2023

Non-binary athletes who want to compete in the 2023 Boston Marathon will not have to register in either the men’s or women’s races, organizers said this week.

Registration for the 127th edition of the race, to be held next April 17, opened on Monday and the application allows runners to select non-binary for gender.

“The Boston Athletic Association is currently working on expanding opportunities for non-binary athletes at our events, including the upcoming 2023 Boston Marathon,” the BAA said in explanatory information accompanying the application.

“While we do not currently have qualifying standards for non-binary athletes, we are working on ways non-binary participants are accepted into the event,” the BAA said, adding that non-binary athletes who have previously completed a marathon as a non-binary participant will be eligible to submit an application under the new option.

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

Because organizers do not yet have enough data to establish non-binary qualifying times, they offered a list of qualifying times that are “inclusive of the qualifying times for the two existing divisions.”

“As we prepare for future races, participants can expect non-binary times to be updated accordingly,” organizers said. “We view this first year as an opportunity to learn and grow together.”

The Boston Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors whose elite fields feature Olympians and other top runners from around the globe.

Last April Kenya’s Evans Chebet won the men’s race and compatriot Peres Jepchirchir captured the women’s title.

But the elite runners form just a fraction of the field of 30,000 for the event, which returned to its traditional date on the third Monday in April this year after being cancelled in 2020 and contested in October in 2021 due to Covid-19 concerns.

© 2022 AFP