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London Marathon to add non-binary gender category to next year’s race

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 14/09/2022 Gabriella Swerling
Regular club and fun runners can register for the 2023 London Marathon as either male, female or non-binary - Jamie Lorriman © Jamie Lorriman Regular club and fun runners can register for the 2023 London Marathon as either male, female or non-binary - Jamie Lorriman

The London Marathon has introduced a non-binary category for runners for the first time in a bid to be “truly inclusive”.

All entrants to the 2023 event will be able to select male, female or non-binary in its entry system, which will open on October 1. 

Organisers said that the change is being introduced following an extensive review and consultation and also to make the event “the most diverse, equitable and inclusive marathon in the world”. 

It also means that for the first time non-binary runners will be ranked separately from their male and female counterparts and can search for their running times accordingly

Announcing the new category, Hugh Brasher, the event director of the London Marathon, said: “This is a significant step forward for the TCS London Marathon as we continue our journey to make our event truly inclusive

“We know there is still much more to be done, but changes such as this demonstrate our commitment to making the TCS London Marathon an event that is for everyone.” 

The three gender options (male, female and non-binary) will be offered to all participants registering for the mass participation element of the 2023 London Marathon via other entry routes, including charity entries. 

However, the elite athlete races, plus the Championship and Good for Age categories, which all operate under World Athletics rules, will not offer a non-binary gender option.  

Responding to the changes, Liz Ward, the director of programmes, at Stonewall, said: “It’s fantastic to see the London Marathon actively including non-binary people and recognising the identities of all runners.

“Sport has the power to bring people together and it is important that LGBTQ+ people enjoy all the benefits of sport. After some recent decisions by professional sports associations to exclude trans people from sport, this is welcome news for all LGBTQ+ people and allies.”

Mo Farah will be taking part in the 2022 London Marathon on October 2 - Richard Heathcote /Getty Images Europe © Provided by The Telegraph Mo Farah will be taking part in the 2022 London Marathon on October 2 - Richard Heathcote /Getty Images Europe

The change to the entry requirements for the London Marathon - which features an iconic route along many of London’s best-known landmarks including Big Ben, the London Eye and Tower Bridge - mark the first time that a marathon in the UK has officially welcomed non-binary runners by offering a new category. 

It also comes after the 2023 Boston Marathon announced earlier this week that it would welcome non-binary runners to its event. 

More than 200 races in the US have created non-binary divisions or allow people to register as nonbinary, according to The New York Times. 

Furthermore, in April this year, the Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon, in New York City, had 82 finishers in the non-binary division. In September 2021, the Philadelphia Distance Run also became the first road race to have a non-binary division and to award equal prize money to winners in the non-binary, women’s and men’s divisions.

The 2022 London Marathon, for which ballot entries closed last year, will take place on Sunday, October 2.

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