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

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13/02/2013 at 19:28

Anything that encourages more people into the sport is a good thing. No reason to feel threatened over this one!

A lot of people, men and women get put off joining clubs as they fear they'll look out of place, or be miles slower.

So a woman only event just sounds a great intro, similar to the running sisters clubs. They're a good starter vehicle, and often see newbies moving into the more established clubs when confident.

Edited: 13/02/2013 at 19:30
13/02/2013 at 20:33
Tommygun...there's a blokes only running club advertised in Sevenoak's Tesco so the men of Sevenoaks have taken matters into their own hands.
Tommygun2    pirate
13/02/2013 at 21:27

Good for them UC, I don't have any problem with mens only or womens only stuff as I will never bother joining a club anyway. I know a few women who are members of the 7oaks ladies jogger and as far as I can see its just a social thing that the mums do during school time.

13/02/2013 at 22:31
I can't take that club seriously as their long run is four or five miles and faster group is too slow...I looked at it as a way to get to know a few others round here but I can just imagine trying to explain the concept of an ultra to old club didn't get it!

FWIW I only started running because of R4L...the offered a walk/run to running 5k programme that got me started. Wouldn't have bothered me if there had been blokes doing it was more the programme that I needed as I hadn't discovered RW back then
13/02/2013 at 22:38
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
Tommygun2 wrote (see)

Just as to prolong this interesting debate, how does the forum feel about women only running clubs then.

Im not sure womens only running clubs would work. I imagine it would go a bit like this.

"OK girls, today we are going to do a 20 minute run, a 10 minute walk, followed by another 20 minute run. Then afterwards, we can try some of the new Strawberry Cheesecake at Cafe Cuppa down the road."

"Ooooh that sounds nice. Does that come with extra cream does anyone know?"

"I think it does, but I might stick to the chocolate cheesecake they do as I know thats delicious."

"Oh yes I like chocolate cheesecake too, oh its so hard to choose."

"Should we go down now and have a look which is better?"

"Yes, lets go ........"

...... and basically there goes the training session .......


DF3, I personally never gave a thought to women's only races or running clubs. But now I can see the attraction - mainly based on keeping away from total misogynists, gender-stereotying, cliche-thinking people like some... 


15/02/2013 at 18:51
Eggyh73 wrote (see)

There seems to be two reasons for these events.

One is that some women sadly don't feel comfortable running with guys about. Be that due to vanity, thinking guys will look down on them for running and getting sweaty or being body concious and thinking men will judge them when they aren't in full make-up etc.



But if the guys are watching it's easier to see them sweating etc?  Whereas if the guys were running they'd be concentrating on that rather than how fat or sweaty the women are?  It's a pathetic argument.  

I'm not convinced by women-only events but as I have said before on this forum, it's quite nice to come in a long way up the field, rather than having 100 men in front of you.  But that's the only advantage as far as I can see. I've taken part in ladies-only events in Windsor, Glasgow and Devon since becoming more serious runner and enjoyed them.  But I enjoy mixed events as well.

I should say that I got into running because of R4L and about 10 years ago pre-child, I also got into running briefly through what was then the Flora Light Challenge in Hyde Park.  But that was in the days before parkrun, and I would have thought that created enough of an unthreatening environment to start running these days. R4L isn't the force it was, so maybe eventually they will open the events to both sexes.

15/02/2013 at 20:31

I don't know about other people- but my local parkrun has a bit of an absence of younger women. I'm in the 25-29 category and despite being pretty slow am often told in my result that I'm the 1st or 2nd woman in my age group, and there are only a handful of regulars who are younger than mid-30s/40. There do seem to be more women 40+ but I think that might be because there is a very active local ladies running club that seems to target that group and they've been very supportive of the parkrun. I have a lot of friends who are non-serious runners and most of them seem very apprehensive about going to a parkrun, particularly if they run on their own- maybe women are just less confident about mass running, and so women only running events are seen as less intimidating? 

15/02/2013 at 21:12

But why should anyone have a go at you !!

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.


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