Boston Marathon’s New Non-Binary Division Allows Biological Males to Qualify Using Same Standards as Females [VIDEO]

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The iconic Boston Marathon has added a new division for next year’s race, to accommodate runners who identify as neither male nor female.

“Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association [BAA] is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running,” the BAA, which runs the marathon, states on its website.

At the 2023 Boston Marathon, slated to be held on April 17, runners can now compete as non-binary, by checking a new box on the registration form, the BAA website explains:

“Non-binary athletes who have completed a marathon as a non-binary participant during the current qualifying window (September 1, 2021 through September 16, 2022) may submit an entry application into the 2023 Boston Marathon between September 12-16, 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. The Boston Marathon registration application will feature the option to select non-binary in regards to gender.”

Since there is no historical data on which to base qualifying time standards for non-binary runners, the BAA says it has established time requirements for non-binary runners that “are inclusive of the qualifying times for the two existing divisions.”

The “inclusive” qualifying times for non-binary runners are identical to those for female runners, both of which are 30 minutes slower than the maximum qualifying times for males. Qualifying times for all divisions are based on age categories.

Thus, a biological male can identify as non-binary and qualify for the marathon by meeting the same qualifying time standards as those for biological females.

Qualifying Times for 2023 Boston Marathon

Qualifying Times for 2023 Boston Marathon

Times for non-binary runners will be adjusted as historical data is collected, BAA says.

Transgender athletes, on the other hand, have been allowed to compete in the division of their preferred gender identity for years. But, as BAA’s rules and regulations state, transgender athletes cannot qualify according to female standards and then compete as a male, or vice versa:

“Applicants must qualify in the gender category for which they intend to participate on the date of the Boston Marathon. Participants will appear in race results as the gender they qualified in their qualifying race. A participant cannot qualify as a male and participate and be ranked in the race as a female or qualify as a female and participate and be ranked in the race as a male.

“To be eligible for prize money or non-financial awards, such as an age group award, transgender athletes must meet the eligibility criteria as defined by the World Athletics Book of Rules C3.5.”

John Hancock is listed as the Boston Marathon’s “principal sponsor.”