Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Action 306 - Poke The Hornet's Nest.

So I'm reading my fabulous friend Katie's blog (RunsForCookies), and I get to the bottom of the entry and see that she is thinking of running a half-marathon in Minnesota called Women Rock. And while I love the idea of people finding any reason to run, I was reminded of a disparity in the running world that no one can explain to me. And since I blog about running, this seems the place to address it.

Action 306 - Poke The Hornet's Nest. Why do women need their own private running events? Some of them are women-focused, meaning men are welcome but the awards are presented only to the women, the event features sponsors geared towards women, etc. And other events go even further, allowing only women to enter at all.

Why is that? And what would be the reaction if someone hosted a men's only, public running event? Would they be viewed as sexist and discriminatory?

Honestly, I'm not really sure how I feel about the whole thing. I am mostly curious to hear from women and find out what attracted them to those events and if they are any different than the open events.


  1. Women Rock is just a couple hours away for me and I do not think I will do it. Mainly, for one of the reasons you said. It just doesn't feel right. Did you know that participants get their medals from firefighters that are buff and shirtless? That seems like it objectifying the firefighters, something us women hate.

    On the other hand, I am doing Go Dirty Girl which is a mud run that is all female. I like the idea of the race being all fun, no competition energy, but a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Time will tell if that is truly going to be the case.

  2. You make an argument for and against in the same reply. That's awesome!

  3. Kristen Kinnear-OhlmannApril 10, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Being a resident of MN, a Team Ortho series participant and needing a half marathon in September, I'm running.

    There's a long tradition in the Twin Cities of women's events. For right or wrong, many, many women don't feel comfortable making their attempts to run "in traffic" - they prefer a more accepting environment than the hard-core runners sometimes provide.

    That being said, there are many welcoming organizations here and women that regularly "chick" men in races.

    My commitment to fitness is all about preventing long-term issues like diabetes and heart disease, so if this is the way to get women out and getting fit, then I'm definitely for it. Being healthy is the most important thing!

  4. How do you think the community would react to a men's-only event? Would they get sponsors? Like I said, not really sure how I feel about it. I'm all for whatever it takes to get people to move, so more power to them. But it's more about getting women to move, not people to move, and that takes a bit of the good out of it for me.

    Meh, I don't know. I get the argument either way.