[Ed. – Men are biologically faster than women, so expect ‘women’s’ finishing times to improve dramatically.]
In 1967, a Boston Marathon official nearly dragged a woman off the course after she managed to enter the men’s-only race. Five decades later, race officials aren’t as concerned about gender boundaries: They’re now publicly acknowledging that transgender runners can compete using the gender they identify with.
“We take people at their word. We register people as they specify themselves to be,” said Tom Grilk, chief of the Boston Athletic Association, the group behind the race. “Members of the LGBT community have had a lot to deal with over the years, and we’d rather not add to that burden.”
At least five openly transgender women are signed up to run the storied 26.2-mile race through Boston and its suburbs April 16. And while they aren’t the first, their presence helped bring clarity to the race’s stance on transgender runners.
In the past, it was uncertain how they would be treated. Some simply signed up and ran, while some were too afraid to try, said Amelia Gapin, a transgender woman from Jersey City, New Jersey, who is registered for this year’s race.