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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are Women's Marathons OK?

Yesterday on Jezebel, I saw this article:  Women's Marathons Use Tiaras, Hot Firefighters To Keep Men Away.  Both the article and the subsequent comments bring up some good points.

First of all, most of you are familiar with the idea of women's marathons.  Some big ones include Disney's Princess Half Marathon (one I really want to do someday) and the Nike Women's Marathon, but there are just tons more of them.  I volunteered for the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon in June, also a women's race.  These races are designed to attract women - usually from a women's theme (such as Breast Cancer or princesses).  At some races, the awards are for women only, but usually men can race as well (I double checked on IronGirl, because someone insinuated over the weekend that men can't do that race, but I don't see any evidence that men can't register).

So, what do you think of womens marathons?

Personally, I wouldn't mind men-only marathons.  It wouldn't bother me at all, and I do think it's a bit of a double standard that we can have women's races, but a men's marathon would seem wrong.  I mean, at the Olympics, the two events are split, right?

As for the tiaras, the hot firefighters, or whatever, I don't care about those things.  I don't like dressing up for races because I like wearing running clothes for races.  Those things just don't appeal to me, although I'll take them.  The only thing that attracts me to women's races are the ones that give out necklaces instead of medals.  I love the idea of being able to wear a necklace over and over, rather than having a medal that goes on a shelf or in a drawer or something.

What annoys me about these races, and what has prevented me from signing up for a women's race up to this point is the fact that I love to run and race the same races as my husband.  I love him running beside me or ahead of me or whatever.  He is not interested in running the "Princess" race.  And, since we race together, I haven't done it.  For this reason, I tend to stick to races that are for everyone.

What do you think of women's races?


marathonmaiden said...

I don't mind all women races-- in fact I'm doing one next month! I wouldn't care either about a mens only race and I hate that men get "hated on" in that regards. I do like races that give out things other than medals-- not going to lie that I want to run a race to get an awesome necklace :)

misszippy said...

I've done Irongirl and really enjoyed the energy out there. I say they are a good thing, b/c they might get someone out there who might be too intimidated otherwise.
That said--I do kind of miss the old days when races were just races, and we didn't need all the gimmicks. One thing is for sure, we'd all be paying a much lower entry fee if the races today didn't include big swag, bands, etc.

Marlene said...

I love women's races! That being said, I would have NO issue with an all-male marathon. In fact, there was an inaugural all men's race here this summer (5K/10K) and I volunteered! It was a hoot.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I'm of two minds. One, it seems a little sexist (most women bristle at an all-men's club, etc. but somehow women's only fitness centers, races, etc are okay), but also there are so many other races that it doesn't really matter.

Lacey Nicole said...

haha- i'm doing the same race that marathon maiden is doing next month. it's one of my favorites, and part of the reason is the fact that it is all women's.

i don't have a problem at all with women's only or men's only. they have their place in the greater scheme of racing. MOST races open to all, so it's not like it is a systematic discrimination or anything like that.

made me think for a second tho, because usually i am against restrictive things!!!

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