The Great Scottish Run will offer third gender option, but non-binary athletes can’t win prizes
The Great Scottish Run will this year offer a third gender option for competitors, and is reportedly the first major race in the UK to do so.
But non-binary athletes will not be able to place in overall rankings.
According to the Telegraph, organisers have added the option to race entry forms, where before the only gender options were “male” and “female”.
Scottish Athletics issued inclusion guidance in January 2018, which states: “We fully support and encourage any race organiser who wish to include a third gender category.”
Last year, the race received criticism from LGBT+ activists and on social media for not including non-binary people in the event.
One Twitter user wrote last year: “We support nonbinary inclusion. About time they did the same! C’mon @GreatScotRun, nonbinary entry for 2019 please!”
The @flingrace team out cheering on runners at the @GreatScotRun today. We support nonbinary inclusion. About time they did the same! C’mon @GreatScotRun, nonbinary entry for 2019 please! 🌈🦄🌈 pic.twitter.com/dQlBX43yAH
— Noanie Heffron (@Noanie07) October 1, 2018
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Rankings in the Great Scottish Run are only for the “male” and “female” runners.
However, the guidance also says: “Anyone competing under this additional category will not be able to have their performance counted towards rankings, so suggest maybe the following in the fine print: ‘Only male and female categories will be captured in results for ranking purposes.’
“You can award prizes in this additional category if you wish, but those competing in this category can only receive a prize in this category.”
The Great Scottish Run confirmed to The Telegraph that there would be no non-binary category prizes or rankings because they are “limited to elite athletes only” in the “male” and “female” categories.
A spokesperson for the event told the newspaper: “Great Run events have always welcomed anyone who wants to take part, without prejudice, and we’re happy to be able to provide this entry option for our runners. Prizes at this event, awarded by Great Run, are limited to elite athletes only.”
In recent years, gender and athletics has become a contentious issue, and this week South African female athlete Caster Semenya was called “biologically male” by a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) board of directors.
PinkNews has contacted the Great Scottish Run for comment.