1 June, 2022
Whilst around half of runners are women, they are underrepresented at races, especially over longer distances. A survey was conducted about women's participation at events - read on for the results.
SheRaces campaign launches on Global Running Day 2022 (read about GRD here), which aims to even the playing field at running races.
Whilst around half of runners are women, they are underrepresented at races, especially over longer distances. When they do race they have an unequal experience to men (see survey results below).
Ultra runner Sophie Power became a household name in 2018, after a photo of her breastfeeding her 3-month-old baby at an aid station of the 106-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) went viral, because their deferral policies meant that she would lose her lottery place in the race if she didn’t compete the year she’d given birth. She had already lost her place in the 2014 race for the same reason. Had she not taken part that year, she would have had to go through the lengthy process of re-qualifying. Listen to Sophie's interview with BBC Radio 5 Live here.
The problem of negative racing experiences for women is a much broader one and is something that Power is hoping to address with the SheRaces campaign. Launching on Global Running Day, 2022, it calls for races of all distances, not just ultras, to be more female-friendly, by adhering to a set of guidelines that even the playing field.
“This campaign isn’t just about pregnancy deferrals. It’s about creating a better and more inclusive race experience overall – and that’s something that will ultimately benefit both men and women.”
SheRaces carried out an online survey with over 1300 responses.
For more details and ideas of how you can help, head over to their website here.
If you're a race organiser, you can follow the advice of the new She Races campaign to making your events more inclusive. They have a easy to follow PDF on there website here to help you level the start line at your next event. These include:
If you want to help support the change for inclusivity at your local events, here's some ideas you can action to level the playing field.
Photo of Sophie mid race, credit Alexis Berg / Strava
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