London Marathon Events has announced that, for the first time, a non-binary gender option will be offered to applicants in the 2023 TCS London Marathon Ballot, which will open on Saturday, October 1.
The change follows an extensive review and consultation period by the event organisers, as part of their work to make the event the most diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Mass participants entrants will be able to select male, female or non-binary when entering the ballot. The three gender options will also be offered to mass-participation entrants registering 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.
The announcement follows news from The Boston Athletic Association earlier this week that the Boston Marathon registration application (which opened on Monday, September 12 and closes on Friday, September 16) will feature a non-binary option too.
Non-binary athletes will be able to apply for the 2023 event (April 17, 2023), provided they have completed a marathon as a non-binary participant during the current qualifying window (September 1, 2021 - September 16, 2022).
Entry into the event will be determined by an athlete’s submitted time and based on the Boston Marathon’s overall field size limit, organisers confirmed.
Non-binary qualifying standards are yet to be established, however, for the 2023 event, the qualification time for non-binary participants will be the same as the qualifying times for female entrants.
This mirrors the New York City Marathon, where the qualification times for non-binary participants is also consistent with the women's.
Boston Marathon organisers say that the times are subject to change in future. ‘With this being our first year, we do not yet have enough data to establish non-binary qualifying times,’ said the organisers. ‘Discussions are ongoing with non-binary athletes in an effort to further promote inclusion at all B.A.A. events.’
Over the past year, many races in the US have added a non-binary division for participants, including the New York City Marathon in 2021 and this year’s Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon.
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