Boston Marathon will now allow transgender runners to compete under their identified gender

According to Boston Marathon officials, transgender runners who qualify to take part in the Boston Marathon can now race under their identified gender. 

The Boston Athletic Association told the American radio station NPR that the policy for the past ‘several years’ is that runners compete under the same gender identity they declared when they qualified for the marathon.

“We don’t require that runners outline their gender identity with us, so we can’t say for certain how many trans runners are in our race. We do know that we have had several transgender runners in the past.”

Whilst the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) do ask for ID when collecting an official bib number, they have stated that they do not have a specific policy on how to handle a runner whose gender identity is different to that on their ID.

Related: Kathrine Switzer to run in London, 51 years after being the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon 

The BAA told the Associated Press: “We take people at their word. We register people as they specify themselves to be. Members of the LGBT community have had a lot to deal with over the years, and we’d rather not add to that burden.”

The rules for transgender runners are similar in the Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles marathons.

The issue of transgender runners came to the surface after an article in Canadian Running revealed three transgender women had qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon, which takes place on Monday 16th April. Whilst many runners have celebrated this news, others have questioned whether the three runners had an unfair advantage, due to higher levels of testosterone.

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