New York City Marathon Opening Wallet for Non-Binary Runners

It’s part of a wider welcome to non-binary athletes in major running events.

AP/Craig Ruttle, file
Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the 2017 New York City Marathon. AP/Craig Ruttle, file

The New York City Marathon, in what appears to be an emerging welcome for non-binary runners in major running events, will allow non-binary runners to compete for cash prizes next month.

New York Road Runners, which organizes the marathon, announced it will reward the top-five runners in the nonbinary category this November. 

The chief executive of New York Road Runners, Kerin Hempel, said in a press release that the organization is “deeply focused on ensuring all of our athletes feel welcome and included.”

The winner of the New York City Marathon’s non-binary division will get $5,000. The prize amount decreases by $1,000 for each top-five runner, so the fifth-place finisher will win $1,000. 

The organization first added a non-binary category to the marathon in 2021; non-binary means someone who identifies as a gender other than male or female.

When New York Road Runners hosted a half-marathon in March, 21 of the 22,349 contestants identified as non-binary, according to the Road Runners’ website. The full marathon on November 6 will have about 50,000 participants, according to New York Road Runners.

More road races have started offering non-binary runner categories in recent years. Organizers of the Boston and London marathons announced in September that their races will include non-binary runner categories starting next year, according to NPR.

The New York City and Boston marathons are among the more than 240 road races across the United States that have non-binary categories available for runners, according to

These also include marathons at Chicago and San Francisco, as well as much shorter races, such as 5-kilometer runs in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky. An increasing number of individuals, including minors, are identifying as non-binary in the United States in recent years. However, non-binary sports leagues and divisions so far are virtually nonexistent. 

The New York Sun

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