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Boston Marathon Adding 'Non-Binary' Category in 2023

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has announced that they are opening up a “non-binary” category for the 2023 Boston Marathon.

The qualifying standards for non-binary participants will initially be the same as for women — but may change.

“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,” the BAA’s website states. 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.”

The BAA added that “discussions are ongoing with non-binary athletes in an effort to further promote inclusion at all B.A.A. events.”

The website states that since this is the first year of having a non-binary category, they do not have enough data to establish qualifying times. The organization said that the times will be “updated accordingly” once they have more information.

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

Approximately 30,000 runners are expected to participate in the 2023 race.

Over 200 races nationwide have added non-binary categories, including New York’s Brooklyn marathon and half-marathon, and the Philadelphia Distance Run.

A runner named Jake Fedorowski created an online guide to races that have the non-binary option. The guide is sponsored by Road Runners Club of America and Seattle Frontrunners.

“The ultimate goal is an industry that doesn’t classify, or measure success, based on gender identity, but instead affirms all individuals and prioritizes ability,” Fedorowski’s website states. “I firmly believe creating a space for non-binary participants is the next step toward that goal.”

Next year’s race will mark the 10-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that left three dead and hundreds injured.

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