The 127th Boston Marathon allows non-binary athletes to register for the first time in their own division for next year’s race.
“The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) is currently working to expand opportunities for non-binary athletes at our events, including the upcoming 2023 Boston Marathon,” race organizers said on their registration website.
“Entry into the event will be determined by an athlete’s submitted time and based on the Boston Marathon’s overall field size limit. The Boston Marathon entry application will feature the ability to select non-binary in regarding sex.
Those looking to enter as non-binary must have completed a race in the September 1, 2021 to September 16, 2022 qualifying window and entered that race as non-binary, the BAA said.
The announcement is part of a larger discussion about gender identity and sports. Qualification standards for non-binary runners will be the same as for female runners this year, but the organization has recognized the potential drawbacks of this approach.
“Discussions are ongoing with non-binary athletes with the goal of further promoting inclusion at all BAA events,” race officials said.
“As this is our first year, we do not yet have enough data to establish non-binary qualifying times. Therefore, we will use the times listed here, as they include qualifying times for the two existing divisions.
“As we prepare for future races, participants can expect non-binary times to be updated accordingly. We view this first year as an opportunity to learn and grow together.
Several top US races have added a non-binary division to their event schedules in recent years. In September 2021, the Philadelphia Distance Run became the first elite road race to feature a non-binary split with the Brooklyn Marathon following suit in April 2022, according to The New York Times.
The Boston Marathon and its organizers have long been among the pioneers of inclusive politics. In 1975, the race added a wheelchair category, making it the first major marathon to do so, according to its website.
The registration window opened on Monday, with the race scheduled for April 17, 2023.