Are gender-specific races sexist?

Today’s run (street): 4.4 miles

My colleague and friend FS ran in the NYRR Mini 10K yesterday, and that got me thinking about gender-specific races. The Mini 10K originates back to the days when women’s distance running was virtually banned by most racing associations. The mindset of the time was ridiculous, and it wasn’t until the 1984 Olympics that women could finally compete at the full marathon distance. But today, there are no such issues, and the percentage of women finishers at every race distance is over 50%.

Excluding men from women-oriented races doesn’t make much sense to me at this point. I suppose women-only events, like the Mini 10K, More Half Marathon and the Disney Princess races, may provide a safe experience that encourages more women into the sport. But is this practice a double standard? Or is it a matter of celebrating every women’s right to competitive equality?

Allowing men into these races may risk spoiling the spirit and focus of these important events. But the exclusion of those who wish to compete mirrors the same conditions that integrated single gender races in the first place.

A weekend for racing

This is a racing weekend, not only for me but for my colleagues FS and MO who participated in the NYRR Mini-10K this morning. No word on how they did, but I’m hoping they both had a good time. It was cool and dry this morning on LI and I hope that was true for NYC when the Mini-10K started. According to weather.com, at the start of tomorrow’s race temperatures should be in the low 70’s with a 40% chance of precipitation and 81% humidity. Not exactly ideal for a fast run but you can’t pick your weather. Clouds and light rain surely beats having the hot sun bearing down on you.

I’ve been feeling slightly guilty for not running on Friday because I took an extra rest day on Wednesday. There’s a lot happening with work so getting some additional rest was appreciated. Tapering is a valid method of preparing for a race and I need to keep that in mind. Tomorrow will be a busy day so I’ll be doing the race without Team Emerging Runner. It doesn’t matter, I just need to get there early so I can park close and stow my gear while I’m running. I’m really looking forward to the run. After a busy and demanding week of work and a tougher one to follow, I can briefly forget everything except for my goal of covering 8K as quickly as I can.