You know these women only running event things there a particular reason

81 to 100 of 100 messages
16/02/2013 at 11:59

It's true there aren't that many younger women at my parkrun - I'm in the 40-44 age-group as well.  I was 9th lady today and 95th runner overall, which kind of illustrates the point about men dominating these events!  There were 262 runners altogether, only 90 of whom were ladies/girls. 

16/02/2013 at 16:24

Hellywob - the men aren't "dominating" your parkun - they're just mostly faster. (It isn't a race anyway!).

IIRC Parkrun reckons on 49% female runs nationwide. (And 90/262 is quite respectable if you look at other sports in the UK.) I have noticed the 20-30 gap  at my local events, but I reckon there are just as many SW20-34 as SM20-34 !

This seems a pretty common age gap in "non-elite" sport.The veteran categories are always over-represented compared to the population as a whole.

16/02/2013 at 16:42

Hmm maybe the younger men are less represented too- just had a look at the stats for my parkrun and thought I'd compare the younger age categories on total number of people who've run in each group and how many of those are 'regulars' (out of 37 events)

  • 20-24 38 men, 2 run 10+, 26 women, 1 run 10+
  • 25-29 58 men, 2 run 10+, 39 women, 4 run 2+
  • 30-34 77 men, 8 run 10+, 47 women, 2 run 10+
  • 35-39 72 men, 4 run 10+, 50 women, 1 run 10+

I did notice though, that a quite a few of the women who were in the 10+ group have partners who also run, but then again I imagine a lot of more frequent runners go with someone else. For comparison there were 85 men vs. 52 women at mine today- if the percentage is 49% as Mmmatt thinks, where are the female dominated parkruns?!

16/02/2013 at 20:14

It is my understanding (and I could be wrong) but there are certain religions that prohibit women (who are actively practising their faith) from taking part in mixed sex sport/events. I have no issue taking part in mixed events, but I do think single sex events still hold a place in our multi-cutural society.

Thinking about parkruns and the age range representation, could it be that men and women between the ages 25-39 have young families and probably find it difficult to get to a event for 9am regularly on a Saturday morning especially if they have to travel to get there. Certainly is the case in my household.

Just my thoughts xx

16/02/2013 at 20:44

Well certain misogynistic interpretations of some religions may prohibit women from taking part in mixed sport - that's unfortunate for women who for whatever reason find themselves brainwashed into believing that kind of nonsense or those who feel trapped in a situation where someone who does believe it has some power or influence over them - but not a reason to start organising sports events, gym sessions, pool sessions etc for them.   

17/02/2013 at 09:07
As I think somebody has already pointed out, at the sharp end (professional sport, Olympics, etc) men and women compete seperately anyway... I'd guess that at a lower level there just isn't the money, time, inclination, demand, etc to have the same split.
17/02/2013 at 21:32
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

So why did Katherine Switzer deliberately enter a mens only marathon in Boston ......... go and create your own then if you want to run a marathon ........ ahh but see thats different, thats for 'equality'.

Again its funny how equality is so different.

If you feel that strongly about it mate, enter the next R4L event as Davina Falconer and trot round wearing a pink tshirt and a wig. I doubt you'd be bulldozed off the course by outraged officials, as happened to KV Switzer when the blokes figured out she was gatecrashing their hallowed event. I mean, really! Women not allowed to run marathons? F**king ludicrous if you ask me.

18/02/2013 at 22:43
I have been following this thread with interest, and have now read the Race for Life rules carefully.

You will be delighted to hear DF3, that RFL will accept entries from transgender women, so you can enter after all.

Just the small matter of a little operation first...
18/02/2013 at 22:50

couldnt you just cover your dick with a hat?

Monique    pirate
18/02/2013 at 23:19

2nd February Sport section of the Guardian- not one sentence on womens sport in the whole issue. If even the right on papers don't represent women what hope is there? They'd sooner report on the poor state of Welsh rugby and a load of premiership poseurs. So I hardly think RFL is going to challenge male dominance of all things sporting. I suppose if we all ripped our ovaries out and waved them  in mass protest it make a  "Sun Spot"  paragraph.

Just saying.,

19/02/2013 at 00:42

i don't know if i'm on the correct thread  or indeed if anyone will comment 

on my point of view.

either way i'm not bothered

but when i was younger i used to wish i was the only man left in a world full of lovely


not too sure if that dream would work now as i'd hate to be stood on the pavement as twenty thousand women , most wearing ipods , jogged past me doing  a ladies only marathon.

 I'm in tears at the thought of it.

19/02/2013 at 02:50

The only thing that bothers me about RFL and the like (and "bother" might be too strong a word, more of a niggle really) is the fact that due to it's "unique" atmosphere it will never be taken seriously as a running event thus reinforcing the whole problem around the very misguided notion that real races are "intimidating" and women are better off doing their own thing.

I think it's brilliant that RFL has introduced many women to running, but I don't think it's just the "women only" aspect that attracts them. The organisers have created a very emotional event where women come to raise money and celebrate someones fight against cancer or to run in memory of someone who lost the battle - this is why they come to run and I can't help wonder if they could maintain or even build on that special atmoshere even if they let us men join in - but perhaps not, I don't know.  

But what I do know is that there are thousands of alternative races available and despite my belief that it's a misguided concept, it isn't something I should be too worried about.


19/02/2013 at 13:20
I've never been involved in a "real race" that I felt was intimidating... In fact, I'd never been aware of that notion, misguided or otherwise, until I started reading threads about R4L on this forum.
24/05/2013 at 13:08

Interesting thread (and I know it's a bit old but here's my (very long) two penneth anyway).

As my starting point, I think it's useful to acknowledge Cancer Research UK's stated reason for keeping RfL women-only.  Apparently they've done "research" which indicates they would have fewer participants if they allowed men to take part.  As I understand it, this means they asked some previous participants and the majority said they'd prefer it to stay women-only, and that's good enough for CRUK.

If my understanding of their research is correct this seems shortsighted to me - they would need to also survey potential participants (many of whom are currently excluded).  If considering whether to turn a carpark into a playground would you just ask the drivers who use it at the moment, and make a decision based on their views?

Of course the fact that many women, in their survey and on this thread, have been quite clear that they found RfL a non-intimidating event.  Without that they may never have taken part, and in some cases it encouraged them to start running elsewhere.  This is positive and shouldn't be ignored.

But I think that rather than concentrating on the restriction of gender it's more useful to consider the focus of the event. 

 - Is it a race where everyone wants to win, or at least concentrates on their position? 

 - Is it a slightly less competitive event which still focuses on getting a good time, or beating a PB (like parkrun)? 

 - Or is it completely non-competitive, a purely charity event where time doesn't matter at all; the important thing is to finish, hopefully raise some money and awareness, and perhaps serve as a kind of tribute to a friend or family member who has been affected by whatever it is the charity is about?

Despite often being called "races", many mass participation events these days are a combination of the above, with internationally famous atheletes at the front, and one-time charity "runners" in fancy-dress at the back and everything in-between.  

I would suggest that the important thing for RfL to ensure it remains non-intimidating, is that the focus stays non-competitive.  It's about charity, cameraderie and having fun, none of which are exclusive to either gender. 

Notably RfL is about all kinds of cancer, but I would point to the example of the MoonWalk which is specifically for breast cancer.  Of course men can also get breast cancer, but MoonWalk has been marketed as a "girl's night out".  Their "thing" is that everyone wears a bra.  They are very clear that there is no focus on going fast, no prizes, and in fact, no running.  And yet, they are happy to allow men to take part - apparently men are about 1% of the participants.  And I have to ask whether a small percentage of male participants dressed like this guy:

 ...would really ruin the entire event for all the women involved?  Because if not, to object for the sake of is just unreasonable.

So is any of this important?  And if so, why? Aren't there bigger things to worry about?

Well I don't buy the idea that because there are bigger issues we can ignore the smaller ones, should we only ever care about one thing at at a time? 

I don't buy the idea that if you are raising money for charity you can behave how you like because it's for the greater good. 

I don't understand why it might be OK to discriminate based on (either) gender any more than it would b

Edited: 24/05/2013 at 13:11
24/05/2013 at 13:29

(continued due to some limit being hit?)

I don't understand why it might be OK to discriminate based on (either) gender any more than it would be to discriminate based on race.

And consider a man who has lost a daughter to cancer.  The UK's biggest cancer charity is holding one of the events of is biggest highest profile series in his home town.  His grandaughters, who have lost their mum want to take part and they'd love him to join in.  But he can't because he's a man.  Would you tell him to go and start his own men-only race if he feels so strongly?  Or tell him he can marshal if he wants to.  Because that's what CRUK would tell him.  And it might not matter much to you but it's important to him.

24/05/2013 at 15:09

I'm obviously fairly new to these forums, but my understanding is that women's only races are so designed so as to keep mouthy, boorish blokes who run 6 hour marathons off no training away from women who just want to get on with their running in peace, right?

25/05/2013 at 09:03

33riggins -- Did you have anyone particular in mind? 

25/05/2013 at 09:04
33riggins wrote (see)

I'm obviously fairly new to these forums, but my understanding is that women's only races are so designed so as to keep mouthy, boorish blokes who run 6 hour marathons off no training away from women who just want to get on with their running in peace, right?

Ha ha, love it

25/05/2013 at 11:40
Taxi Driver wrote (see)

33riggins -- Did you have anyone particular in mind? 

It certainly gives that impression, and I'm even wondering if it's a snide pop at me following my admittedly overlong and arguably opinionated waffle.

But I've certainly never done a 6 hour marathon so I guess not.

25/05/2013 at 12:24

No, not you Tarantula

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member
81 to 100 of 100 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW competitions

RW Forums