“Inequality in prize distribution sparks dispute over ‘non-binary’ gender participation in New York marathon”

Can you imagine being 163 places ahead of someone in a race and that person taking a much bigger prize? Something like this is what has happened in the mythical new york marathon, one of the six great tests in the world in the queen distance. However, this peculiar circumstance has an explanation that has generated much controversy. The difficult inclusion of ‘non-binary’ gender categories.

The person graced with this prize of nothing more and nothing less than $5,000 has been Jake Caswell, who has become the protagonist of a peculiar story that also has other secondary actors. In addition, he has become news for being a pioneer in the world of athletics or running.

Jake Caswell defines himself as gender non-binary. For a long time he pursued that the best races in the world have their own category for people of this condition. And in 2022, the New York marathon has decided to expand its borders to accommodate these people in a special modality that would also be awarded.

[Claus, el carismático aguador detrás de los dos récords de Eliud Kipchoge en el Maratón de Berlín]

Already in 2021 there were 16 test participants who did so within the ‘non-binary’ gender category. However, on that occasion they did it purely out of love for running and not for an economic prize as has happened this year. Now, the organization has decided to put a large amount at stake that has caused a lot of criticism, since Caswell, the best positioned in this new category, has not managed to enter even among the top 150 of the test. However, he has had access to a high economic amount due to his condition.

Jake Caswell after finishing a race

Caswell’s career

Jake Caswell, an amateur runner, defines himself as gender non-binary. Biologically born male, the 25-year-old Big Apple resident is now trying to face a new life. And the New York marathon has been in charge of facilitating that path at the cost of generating enormous controversy.

The ‘non-binary’ gender is included in gender studies and is applied to those people who claim to have a sexual identity outside of the general binary, that is, they do not perceive themselves as totally masculine or totally feminine. For this reason, they can be defined as belonging to a third gender, which is usually called dissident, with two genders, with three genders or even more. This is called a pangender.

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There are also cases of self-designation as a member of a fluid gender, that is, one that transitions between two or more genders in a perpetual or sporadic manner. And finally, there are the agenders, those who do not identify with any gender either totally or partially.

[Eliud Kipchoge, de campeón en la pista a leyenda del asfalto: los retos que le quedan]

It is all these people who have completed a category that has now been seen in the eye of the hurricane. While in 2021 there were only 16 ‘non-binary’ athletes who took the start, this course there have been a total of 59. And all of them, logically, have fought for their succulent prizes.

The best classified was Jake Caswell, who finished in 172nd place in the test, stopping the clock in a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes and 12 seconds. A not inconsiderable result, but logically, worse than that of his 171 predecessors at the finish line. Thanks to this position, the first of the ‘non-binary’, he pocketed a prize of 5,000 dollars.

The New York marathon had 29,993 men and 23,752 women. But of the 59 runners who were part of this controversial category, only 45 were able to finish the test. In second place was Zackary Harris with a time of 3 hours, 9 minutes and 31 seconds falling to 1,237th place overall. However, he pocketed a total of $4,000. Third ‘non-binary’ and 1,654 overall was Justin Sollewho stopped the clock in 3 hours, 14 minutes and 48 seconds and earned $3,000.

behind stood Nicholas Dill with a record of 3 hours, 27 minutes and 30 seconds and an overall position of 2,977 that earned him $2,000. The last winner of the ‘non-binary’ with 1,000 dollars was Erin Anthonywho reached the finish line after 3 hours, 29 minutes and 33 seconds of fighting in position 3,263.

[Eliud Kipchoge pulveriza el récord del mundo en el Maratón de Berlín con 2 horas y 1 minuto]

Image of the New York marathon

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These positions and, above all, these awards, are the ones that have generated enormous controversy and the anger of all those who, despite finishing far ahead, have received minor awards or have not even been able to receive any money for their brilliant performances.

The winners in both the men’s and women’s events were the Kenyans Evans Chebetwho closed his contest in a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 41 seconds, and Sharon Lokedi, who reached the finish line in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds. Both pocketed prizes of $100,000. Second place finishers in men and women received a prize of $60,000, while third place got a reward of $40,000.

He prize money of the test plummeted as soon as they left the podium until the eighth classified obtained $ 5,000, that is, the same amount as the winner of the ‘non-binary’ category. In the case of men, the winner was Daniel Meuccian Italian athlete who reached the finish line in a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and 29 seconds, that is, about 32 minutes better than Jake Caswell.

Daniele, what was European marathon champion in Zurich 2014He considered this situation an outrage. In the female category, the eighth classified was the American Emma Bateswho finished the test in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds, and who in her day was second in the marathon of Chicago of 2021.

[España se estrena en el Europeo de Atletismo de Múnich 2022 con dos medallas en el maratón]

Starting from ninth position, that is, even within the Top 10 of one of the most important marathons in the world, they were all runners who were deeply affected by a situation that has generated enormous controversy. Undoubtedly, the criticism received will cause the organization to review its approaches for the next course.

Evans Chebet, winner of the New York City Marathon 2022


The ‘Majors’ plan

This situation that has occurred in the New York marathon, and which did not generate so much controversy in 2021 as there were no financial prizes at stake, will not be an isolated case in the best races on the planet in the distance of 42.195 kilometers. The six ‘Majors’, Boston, London, NY, berlin, Tokio y Chicagoare carrying out joint plans to adapt to changing times and to the demands of a sector of the population.

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For example in USAwhere four of these six iconic races are held, there are 1.2 million people who identify as ‘non-binary’ according to a study by the University of California. This has meant that more than 200 national road and trail races have adapted a category for these people.

Looking ahead to 2023, there will be two other iconic tests that will also debut their new categories for ‘non-binary’ people: Boston and London. In the case of the organization of the race held in New York, they have been very happy with their decision despite all the attacks they have received in recent days: “The decision is part of a series of measures of the New York Marathon aimed at facilitating the integration of underrepresented groups such as communities LGBTI+“. A line that is being followed by other organizations of the ‘Majors’.

[Escándalo en el atletismo: unos padres dejan correr una maratón a su hijo de 6 años y son denunciados]

For their part, some of the participants in this inexperienced category have celebrated as a liberation that their cause is heard and supported: “I have felt excluded from sports all my life. To show up on race day and be recognized for what I you are, and to hear people rooting for you for who you are, it’s really special. I’m so emotional.” This was said through tears by Nicholas Dill, fourth of his rank and 2,977 general, to the magazine Runner’s World after participating in the test.

The winner of the race, Jake Caswell, was also proud to have gone down in athletics history in this way: “So many thoughts, feelings and emotions on Sunday. Grateful for everyone’s support. None of this would be possible without so many people doing an amazing job so that I and all future runners have a more inclusive space to run.” Some celebrate while others raise their voices protesting against a situation that they consider a manifest injustice.

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