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

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seren nos    pirate
11/02/2013 at 15:59

it just another way to stop you racing David.......

seren nos    pirate
11/02/2013 at 16:02

on a more serious note our running club used to have a womens only 5k which the men all m,arshalled.that was because there was only a couple of women in the club and they were trying to encourage women into running in  our area........

we stopped the race a few years ago as women were now happier to join the club and i think that we almost have even numbers

11/02/2013 at 16:07

I guess, if you are thinking about Race for Life type events, then it is a way of really emphasising the mass participation nature of the event. I appreciate this is a paradox, as you are restricting the field in order to ensure a higher participation rate, but I know lots of female friends who wouldn't consider a normal 5K or 10K event (even a parkrun) but happily enter Race for Life. I think, to be honest, that RfL is targetting a whole different market from people who consider themselves runners.

11/02/2013 at 16:12
I have seen a womens only HM...

I agree with dan. I know some women which would not enter a 5k race but do RfL every year even if they have to walk the whole distance.
11/02/2013 at 16:16

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.

The second tends to be female aimed charity events, such as breast cancer awareness and trying to generate some form of female comradery. Although I know at least in Glasgow there is now a men only 10km the month after the now long running and very popular women's 10km race.

I can't say I see it as an issue. It's not like you'd struggle to find an event to run as a bloke. It's just a shame some women are intimidated for whatever reason in a mixed sex race.

Edited: 11/02/2013 at 16:17
11/02/2013 at 16:21

I think you are mixing up Race for Life and the Moonwalk. Race for Life - 5km run or walk, women-only, t-shirts are worn. Moonwalk - 13.1 or 26.2 walk, bras are worn, women and men are allowed to participate as long as they are wearing a bra  

I just finished reading Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon with an "official" race number (although they did try to kick her out of the race!). I didn't realise that once she retired from marathon she worked for Avon setting up women-only marathons, which were huge. (The Avon marathon in London was the year before the first London Marathon) The aim was both to encourage women who might have felt shy about joining mixed races to participate and to get women's distance running taken seriously enough for IOC to add women's marathon to the Olympics (they wanted to avoid the argument about women only performing well in distance running if they were paced by men). It was a really interesting book as nowadays I think there is an attitude of 'serious' runners looking down on women-only events, but the Avon marathons played a big part in getting women's distance events recognised by the IOC.

Edited: 11/02/2013 at 16:22
11/02/2013 at 16:29

I don't like the idea of women-only events.

It doesn't sit well with me that women feel it's OK to discriminate because they are doing it for the "right" reasons: it smacks of Animal Farm - all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

I think many people who take part in Race for Life do it not as a race, or even a run, but as a fund-raising event, and I think it's a shame that they exclude half the population.

11/02/2013 at 16:37

I'm not saying either is right or wrong but there are men only events too. Perhaps that's not equality, but at least it's equally discriminatory.

11/02/2013 at 16:49
Screamapillar wrote (see)

I'm not saying either is right or wrong but there are men only events too. Perhaps that's not equality, but at least it's equally discriminatory.

That's just as wrong in my view.  Two wrongs don't make a right, as my mum used to say.

What's the justification for it?  Shy, insecure, body-consious men don't want to run with a bunch of nasty judgemental women?  It will encourage more men into running?  Or just because women have women-only races, so we'll have a men-only one?

cougie    pirate
11/02/2013 at 16:58
Have they stopped the women only swimming at the baths ?
I remember when I used to swim in pools - the only day I could get to the pool had a womens only session starting at 8pm. So I had to leave the water by 8.
The funny thing was that most of the women didn't want to wait until 8 - so they'd just start their session early. So it clearly wasn't a problem for them after all ?
LIVERBIRD    pirate
11/02/2013 at 17:05
Men stink.
And I always get the one in front of me who hasn't showered for days and decides to fart while running.
This is the MAIN REASON these events exist. It's all about me
LIVERBIRD    pirate
11/02/2013 at 17:09
Except Cougie. Who smelled quite nice last time I sniffed him. It's a shame about the restraining order...
11/02/2013 at 17:19

I have mixed feelings about women's only events: I think they do serve a purpose in addressing an imbalance in sports in general, and running in this particular case, where women are more likely to feel intimidated by events that seem more competitive, serious, or male-dominated. I think it would be hard to deny either that more men than women take amateur running 'seriously', or that men, in general, tend to run faster. I am not intimidated by male runners at all (though I do wish they would be more careful where they spit during races, it's always the blokes... ) , but when I wanted to join a club, I did e-mail and ask if they had any women members (they were quite proud to be able to reply that they had four!), and even I was a little put off by the thought that I might be the only woman. So I can imagine if I were less good at running, less sure of myself, didn't already do races, etc., a women-only event might be a good way in.

However, I do sometimes feel like these mass-participation neon-pink coloured events do tend to reinforce this perceived divide between serious running and women's sport, which is branded more as a kind of girly keep-fit activity and I wonder if it actually does more to reinforce the idea that women can't expect to be competitive or serious about sport. You see it in all the sports shops too, where the men have serious, useful gear, and the women get lots of neon pink trim and no bloody pockets. Grr.

I agree though that there doesn't seem to be any good reason for men-only events. It seems like a sort of 'well, if you're going to exclude us from YOUR races' reaction that completely sidesteps any of the actual arguments for or against.

 

11/02/2013 at 17:21
kittenkat wrote (see)

. However one of those races I talk about had Jo Pavey in it, so I didn't win that one!

Did you come second?

LIVERBIRD    pirate
11/02/2013 at 17:35
I don't really see the point of any races that exclude people based on sex, gender, colour or anything, really. Imagine a blacks/whites only race? Or a 'only if you were born within the sound of the Bow bells' race? Or a 'you can join in if you've got a beard' race?
I don't care what you pee out of. I don't care which football team you support. I don't care what colour you are. We should spend more time trying to get women to see that their gender is not really terribly relevant to running and they should probably just get over their intimidation. But we're going to have to start in the school gym. Us oldies might be beyond help. But let's MOTIVATE our girls.
11/02/2013 at 17:36

That's true, Liverbird, I remember losing interest in sport aged 12 for about the next 15 years after they stopped letting girls do basketball.

Rafiki    pirate
11/02/2013 at 18:27

But didn't they try and strip Paula of her world record because she got it in a mixed race; they suggested that world records must be achieved in single sex races. Doesn't really help the cause much does it??

M...eldy    pirate
11/02/2013 at 18:34
cougie wrote (see)
Have they stopped the women only swimming at the baths ?
I remember when I used to swim in pools - the only day I could get to the pool had a womens only session starting at 8pm. So I had to leave the water by 8.
The funny thing was that most of the women didn't want to wait until 8 - so they'd just start their session early. So it clearly wasn't a problem for them after all ?

Just shows how long ago you were in a pool ....    

12/02/2013 at 11:02

...............when I saw this title I thought for a moment I thought Coops had come back to haunt us !! 

I do remember some years ago walking to the start of a local race and getting in conversation with a young woman - well they are nearly all young nowadays compared to me - and she was absolutely shaking with nerves. It was her first race and she had never done any competitive sport previously. She was quite grateful to have someone show her where to put her rucksack, go to the start area etc and have a chat before the start. 
never saw her after that - she was far too quick !!

Made me appreciate how difficult it is for someone like me who has been involved in competitive sport all their lives to realise just how intimidating it can be for a complete novice to step over the line and actually take part in a sporting event particularly when the bias in sexes can be so pronounced - as it was then.

Nowadays nearly every runner I see on the streets is female - where have all the blokes gone!!!!

12/02/2013 at 11:20
Torque Steer wrote (see)

Nowadays nearly every runner I see on the streets is female - where have all the blokes gone!!!!

Cycling.

I've noticed when I'm out running the vast majority of other runners tend to be women, but cyclists more often than not are always guys.

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