Parkrun's gender self-ID lets men 'smash women's records'
Parkrun’s gender self-ID lets men ‘smash women’s records to smithereens’, former Olympic marathon runner claims
- Mara Yamauchi said self-declaring gender would result in exclusion of women
- Latest comments in row about trans women competing in women’s categories
Parkrun’s gender self-ID was enabling men to ‘smash’ women’s records, a former Olympic runner has claimed.
Mara Yamauchi, former Olympian and British elite marathon runner, said this would result in the exclusion of women and their achievements in the name of being ‘inclusive’, The Telegraph reports.
She claimed that a Parkrun female group course record was ‘smashed to smithereens by a trans-identifying male’ and believes the record may now be ‘out of female hands forever’.
Ms Yamauchi’s comments are the latest in a row in professional sports about letting trans women compete in women’s categories.
World Athletics voted to exclude transgender athletes who have transitioned from male to female after puberty in March, as the governing body’s president Seb Coe vowed it will ‘protect the female category’.
Mara Yamauchi (pictured left), former Olympian and British elite marathon runner, said this would result in the exclusion of females and their achievements in the name of being inclusive
She claimed that a Parkrun female group course record was ‘smashed to smithereens by a trans-identifying male’ and believes the record may now be ‘out of female hands forever’ (pictured: Ms Yamauchi in the Yokohama women’s marathon in 2011)
However, UK Athletics first said in February it could not exclude trans women from competing in women’s categories due to the Equality Act.
After being assured about the law, the governing body changed its stance in March and said it will introduce an ‘open’ category for athletes of any gender while providing a sex-based female category for athletes.
Parkrun’s website clearly states the course and age categories are based on athletes self-identifying and if one changes their recorded gender, ‘they will then be eligibel for the records associated with that gender’.
There is the option for participants to be excluded from all gender-based records, but athletes would have to specifically contact Parkrun’s support page and request the change, after which ‘specific performances can be marked accordingly’.
What is Parkrun?
Parkrun is a global community fun run consisting of weekly 3.1-mile (5km) races in different places.
The fun run was started in Teddington in 2004 and has gained fans around the world.
Parkrun allows runners to self-identitfy their gender as ‘male’, ‘female’, ‘non-binary’ or ‘prefer not to say’.
Fiona McAnena, a campaigner with Fair Play For Women, told The Telegraph:
‘I think it’s a great illustration of how people get confused about inclusion, because they think it’s inclusive to let males declare themselves to be women.
‘They say Parkrun is a run not a race but Parkrun does publish the results by sex, they do give you a finishing place and they do declare the men’s and women’s course record for every Parkrun in the world.’
She said that if the course record mattered enough to put it on a website, it mattered to the women who accomplished it.
She added that there was ‘a lot to love about Parkrun’ but they were wrong in this instance and continued: ‘They are taking away women’s chances to be first in their age category and first in their sex class. That’s not inclusive, that’s not kind.’
A spokesperson for Parkrun said the fun run was not a race or athletic competition overseen by national or international federations – like World Athletics or UK Athletics – as they are community-led, focusing on inclusion and the improvement of public health.
They added Parkrun believed that it would not be ‘appropriate or practical’ to request proof of gender or ‘adjudicate the validity of a person’s gender identity’.
They continued: ‘At Parkrun we aim to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible, and whilst there is and possibly always will be discussion around how we record and present people’s identities, we believe that our current solution is the most appropriate available at this time.’
Source: Read Full Article