Ultrarunning Magazine lays out all the results from this weekend’s ultramarathon and trail running results right here. From Javelina to Chicago Lakefront to the East Coast, there was plenty of action on the trails!
Top female at the Marine Corps Marathon wins by five minutes. Whoa! Anyone know what happened? Did an entire pack drop off or was she just dominant from the start? Not mentioned in the article was the top 50k female Melissa Tanner who finished 3rd overall, right behind Mike Wardian.
So let’s talk about Javelina. For transparency and clarity, I’ll be referring to Riley Brady as a female. She’s listed as female in all of her results and has now accepted the Golden Ticket for females so I’ll refer to her how I feel is appropriate.
For those who didn’t watch the livestream, there was a big deal made about Brady being a nonbinary runner. The feed showed top women, top men, and top NB. From official race channels to her best friend’s socials, Riley Brady was running as NB in the first big race that recognized this category and it was monumental. In addition–and this is important–it’s my understanding that race officials were telling the top women which place they were running based on the female category (excluding Brady.) To review, there was a men’s category, a women’s category, and an NB category. Also important to note is that the top two men and top two women earned a Golden Ticket to Western States.
The confusion came at the finish when Brady was listed as the second place female behind Devon Yanko. (This has since been updated, adding to the confusion. Update: Nope, she’s back in the female category. Come on, people.) But wait, I thought Brady was NB…why is she listed as female and does that mean she’s eligible for the Golden Ticket? I tweeted about the confusion (below) and asked for clarification. From my perspective, the racing world isn’t exactly ready to have more than two categories wedged into a system (like the Golden Tickets) that only accommodate two and I wanted to know how this would be addressed. I geek out on stuff like this and am fascinated how organizations handle issues in real time. My degree is in Public Relations and I can’t help myself.
Can someone clarify the @JavelinaJundred results? Who are the official top three 100M women and what are the rules re: the @wser Golden Ticket? Are runners allowed to switch gender category post race? Confused.https://t.co/E4xqJy5F6V…
— Ultrarunnerpodcast (@UltraRunnerPod) October 30, 2022
Eventually someone pointed out to me (thank you!) that the race allowed runners to choose a pronoun to race under and then also choose a sex under which to file results. In this case, Brady chose NB as her gender, then female for results. Let’s be clear. To the Twitterverse this all makes perfect sense and is totally normal and to question it means I’m just an old white guy (note the unfortunate use of agist, racist, gender-assuming language) with an inferior point that should not be considered or recognized. But I think more realistically, this is still a situation that is trickier to navigate than some of Barkley’s routes in the dark. Yes, WSER has a transgender policy, but that policy–as far as I can tell–holds no bearing on what happened yesterday in Arizona and to my surprise, neither WS or Javelina had really prepared for this scenario.
Kaci Lickteig commented on the Twitter thread that she knew Brady was running as a female in her hunt for a Golden Ticket, but did all of the women, and how was that message relayed? Was it appropriate for race officials to tell the women in the top ten their places while neglecting to include Brady’s position? How did this change race strategy? These are simple questions that should have simple answers.
So how will Western States handle this? Will the Board recognize Brady as a female (I’ll note that this would be inconsistent with official results) and give her a Golden Ticket? Will they note the confusion and also give a Golden Ticket to the female she displaced (in turn, cutting one more lottery entrant out of the pool), or will the BOD choose a third, undetermined option? I don’t know but will be watching patiently and respectfully to find out.
(If you’d like to comment on this please refer to the URP commenting guidelines. Use your real name and please don’t be a dick. Thank You.)
Spain’s Malen Osa navigating a loooong technical descent while running fifth place at Madeira. Gorgeous shots once again from Biel Rafols.
Willing as they were to lend a helping hand in getting my foot on the sponsorship ladder, the hard facts were that industry minimums required an athlete to have a following of at least 3000 in order for their advertising potential to have the desired reach.
—Interesting essay about navigating the world of athlete interviews and social media and how it all affects an athletes’ prospects and important, their mental health.