Pressure put on parkrun as policy of gender self-identification sees runners born as men smash women’s records

Athletics / Sun 28th May 2023 at 07:56am

A LEADING Women’s Rights Network (WRN) has written to the organisers of Parkrun to express their concerns over the policy of “gender” self identification which permits men to say they are women.

There are over 1,100 parkruns all over the country. The 5k runs set off at 9am and are not seen as races but competitions/challenges for yourself.

Harlow has had over 380 runs since it started in 2014. Over the years, a number of women of all ages have set best times.

However, recently (not in Harlow) records have been smashed by trans-identifying men.

One of the many campaigners against this is Olympic marathon runner Mara Yamauchi.

Maria has highlighted the letter from WRN. We look forward to the UK Parkrun’s response.

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12 Comments for Pressure put on parkrun as policy of gender self-identification sees runners born as men smash women’s records:

2023-05-28 08:23:35

Unfortunately no one cares about women anymore! A man is a man, a man can not be a women! I want to stand with the women and help them fight this ludicrous law!

2023-05-28 09:48:14

I prefer the old type of women.

2023-05-28 12:06:22

This is truly shocking and is so wrong that it can never ever be right. Why do these men have to interfere with whatever women are doing? Its always the women that have to suffer,these men are becoming a joke and they need to grow up. This is not fair on women,real women.

2023-05-28 16:54:00

I think if a man is born male at birth they should still compete in the male category regardless of personal changes made to their bodies. Alternatively set up a transgender category (male and female) which would be a fair way for them to compete. As it stands it is totally unfair to girls/women who want to take part on a level playing field. Please, please change the rules - incidentally are self id transgender participants requiring medical proof to ensure fraudulent applications are not being submitted.

Bruce Downey
2023-05-28 18:13:18

No comment from the Green Party? Jennifer.. Kim..??

Jim Ford
2023-05-28 18:27:15

While I agree that men should not be participating as women I think it's unfair to go after Parkrun in this instance. It's volunteer run for the most part and the organisation has no way of verifying a person. A 20 year old man could run as a 90 year old woman named Diana Spencer without being a transexual, because Parkrun simply don't have the facilities or resources to check if everyone is who they say they are. It really is just a fun personal challenge.

2023-05-29 09:24:21

Nothing wrong with woman having a penis. Most women I know have a penis at least once a week! On a serious note; all you have to do is a simple testosterone test to decide what categories people can compete in.

2023-05-30 08:09:19

Gender perhaps is in the mind. Genes are what decides a body can do either it's XY or XX : Then there's the debate about those who start a trans journey before puberty and those that start after. Perhaps we need 4 categories of athletes or perhaps the answer for parkrun is to recognize different achievements, not based on group sex / gender identification but on personal individual progress and or commitment.

Tony WIseman
2023-05-30 16:20:14

I thought that the whole idea of Park Runs was to encourage people to exercise in a safe and organised event, why has it become so competitive? Why can't people of all types just turn up, have a run for exercise and go home feeling better? Park Runs are about exercise and fun not about competition or sexual gender. Lets get back to the original idea and enjoy the running, fresh air and exercise

2023-05-30 19:34:40

After each race/event, parkrun provide runners an amazing array of stats for a volunteer-lead organisation, including overall position, gender position, position according to your category (eg senior male 40-44 years), time and if you have scored a PB. While it might be a fun run to many, the stats are useful to many to track progress and there is much pride to be had in knowing you are fastest in your category. Having men self ID and usurp women’s spots isn’t fair. No amount of surgery can turn men’s larger hearts, lungs, different bone structure and muscle density into those of women, nor provide periods, a womb, the ability to conceive and give birth. Live freely how you want to live, please compete fairly. Despite making up 51% of the population women are still, in 2023, having to fight for fairness and rail against misogyny and sexism in every walk of life. We’re tired. And now we have to fight even harder. But we won’t give up because to give up is to give our daughters no hope for their sporting future. I hope more men speak up too.

Maureen Coffey
2023-08-12 19:10:21

Their only interest is growing the organisation. They do not care one little bit about any of the stats apart from numbers of participants. They rely entirely on volunteers. Over 50% of these are women. The only way we can get them to operate fairly is if volunteers stopped volunteering. Misogynist at the Helm who is quite comfortable for women to lose their records

Matt Miller
2023-08-29 21:51:40

I am a regular parkrunner who volunteers a lot. Whilst I totally agree that transwomen should not be able to compete in the women’s category in competitive sports because of their physical advantages my attitude towards trans people at parkrun is different. This is because parkrun is not a competitive sporting event. It exists solely to bring athletes of all abilities and all backgrounds together for a weekly times run to improve their fitness. Some participants are actually walkers. It doesn’t really matter if a transwoman holds an age category record at a particular course although I am not comfortable with the “overall female course record” being held by a transwoman at Parke parkrun in Devon. I think in that case the best time achieved by a biological female parkrunner should also be displayed on the records page.

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