I was reading Runner's World Online today, as I do most days, and came across a very interesting article linked from Running Times. It was titles "Why do Men Run Women's Races?" Check out the link if you care to read it yourself.
The article basically was about how there are men that join races that were intended for women but no rules prevent men from running. These races would include the Nike Women's Marathon and the Disney Princess Half Marathon among others. In both races, a certain small percentage of the runners are men. Should men be allowed to run these races? It definitely got me thinking. Here are a few thoughts of mine. First of all, I like the idea of the women's only races. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. Sort of like Curves gyms. No issue there. I, personally, would not join one of these races. As I read about the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the article talks about a guy who won the race one year but was entered in the Coed Marathon Relay Division. COED?? In the Disney Princess? Yes, according to the article, they have a coed division. The relay consists of 2 runners running the entire half marathon and then combining the times for the team's final time.
So what is the deal here Disney? Why have a "women's race" but allow men in a competitive division? Here is more about it. This guy, who's team won the Coed Relay Division, had to start 8 minutes AFTER the race because he was a man. He then ran that much faster than the top female passing her with somewhere around a mile to go. I assume most of the women int he race didn't know there was a Coed Relay because he was subject to insults along the way like "He is no Princess" and even as he passed the leading female, she says she called him a "tool". Then Disney screwed up big time in my opinion. As he came down the final stretch, the announcer told the crown to be quiet and made him run off to the side across the finish line. There is a picture with the article. That was really crappy Disney!
I say, have the women only race, make it a rule though that men are not allowed. Can you do this in a PC world we live in? Not sure. Would women be upset if there was a Men's Only race? Yeah, I know that is the way it used to be, but that was way long ago. Would you be upset? I don't see the point of it but it would be equal.
In other "Women Running" News, the International something or another (not sure exactly who it is) is apparently changing the rules for what would be considered as World Record for women in road races. The new rule says that the record need to happen in a women's only race or a race where the women start early. What the heck? Is it because women can then have men pace them? SO WHAT!! Men get paced in races all the time. They are even going to retroactively change some of the world records back to the races that were women only. What a crappy, stupid rule. If you can explain it to me so I can understand this rule, I would love to hear it. Have you run either of these races and if so, did you mind seeing men in the race?
As for you women out there, keep on running, I shall stay out of 'your' races and cheer you on from the sidelines.
Keep on Running!!!