Boston Marathon debuts nonbinary division at race’s 127th running with 27 athletes competing in the newly formed amateur class as a Vermont native finishes first in 2:38:56
- Vermont native Kae Ravichandran won the nonbinary division on Monday
- The Boston Athletic Association will have the nonbinary division at other races
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In addition to 17,272 male competitors and another 12,940 women runners, the 127th Boston Marathon also featured 27 nonbinary entrants, marking the first year of competition in the newly formed division.
Vermont native Kae Ravichandran won the nonbinary division on Monday, finishing with a time of 2:38:56. Runner-up Cal Calamia, who wore a transgender patch on their singlet, said they heard spectators cheering for them all along the course.
‘To be able to do it in this way, in this category, makes it so much more special,’ said Calamia, who was running their sixth marathon and first Boston. ‘Knowing how much work has gone into getting this category — in a way, that was already a win.’
There is no professional division for nonbinary runners, so those competing on Monday in Boston did so as amateurs.
As for the professionals, Evans Chebet won the men’s race in 2:05:54 while his fellow Kenyan Hellen Obiri won the women’s race in 2:21:38.
The 127th Boston Marathon featured 27 nonbinary runners – a new feature for this year’s race
Vermont native Kae Ravichandran won the nonbinary division on Monday. She previously competed competitively at Case Western University and ran in men’s division in 2022
Ravichandran ran competitively at Case Western University, according to a recent article by Burlington, Vermont’s NBC affiliate. However, she was forced to compete as a male at last year’s Boston Marathon, due to existing rules at the time.
‘I had to register as a male last year,’ Ravichandran said. ‘I was, like, debating to do Boston in the future if they hadn’t changed their rules.’
The Boston Athletic Association, which administers the prestigious marathon, announced the move in September, not just for the marathon, but for the BAA’s other races, including a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon.
Nonbinary athletes were allowed to submit entry applications if they’ve completed a marathon as a nonbinary participant during the current qualifying window. The organization’s online applications included ‘nonbinary’ as a gender option.
‘Discussions are ongoing with nonbinary athletes in an effort to further promote inclusion at all BAA events,’ the organization said in September, adding, ‘We view this first year as an opportunity to learn and grow together.’
Nonbinary pro miler and 1,500 runner Nikki Hiltz, who came out as transgender last year and narrowly missed a spot on the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics, lauded the move.
‘There’s still so much work to be done but I’m thrilled that nonbinary runners are being acknowledged by the Boston Marathon and BAA,’ Hiltz tweeted.
The Boston Marathon is the latest major marathon to begin adding nonbinary divisions.
Last year’s Philadelphia Distance Run, a premier event offering a half marathon and a 5K, became the first large race in the US to establish a nonbinary division and offer equal prize money.
The Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon followed in April. Eighty-two competitors who had registered as nonbinary participants were among the finishers.
Runners move away from the finish line during the 127th Boston Marathon on Monday
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