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to think Race for Life is sexist?

82 replies

FoofFighter · 05/06/2013 19:07

Why can only women take part? I find it very strange to cut out 50% of the population from taking part. Do only women get cancer?

OP posts:
attheendoftheday · 09/06/2013 18:35

I think it's sexist, and it puts me off participating. Absolutely ridiculous that men can't take part in case others don't like running with them. If rfl didn't allow people to participate because they were, for instance, black or gay, and others didn't want to run with them people would be rightly outraged.

jimcowan800 · 08/04/2018 15:41

I just came across this post and have read it and the comments below it with interest. It never ceases to amaze me how little Cancer Research UK know about (or acknowledge?) the Race for Life's beginnings, which are where the women only principle began.

As the person who came up with the idea for the Race for Life and launched it in 1994, here is the background as explanation.

In 1993 my father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer which, sadly, took his life. Determined to stage some kind of memorial event, I started researching what was available and where there may be any gaps in the 'market'.

I decided that a mass participation event at multiple venues was the best way to maximise fundraising and began looking into running events.

I discovered that only 13% of runners in road running events (usually 10k or longer at the time) were female and so started asking women why? The answers I got suggested that women (a)) disliked the 'testosterone filled' atmosphere at races and wanted something less, or non, competitive and - especially for non-runners and beginners - (b) wanted a shorter, more achievable distance.

At that time, 5k was a very rarely run distance outside of track athletics but all of the above combined with other research I undertook led me to believe that the answer was a non-competitive, women only 5k series.
I approached what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and in 1994 the first Race for Life was staged at Battersea Park.

Not the memorial event I had originally envisaged for my father but one I feel he would be proud to be the reason behind. And one which changed the fundraising landscape in the UK for good.

I hope that answers your points and questions.

(Please note that I am not longer involved in the event and so cannot speak to CRUK's current practice or thinking).

flowerslemonade · 08/04/2018 16:13

all i really see is women having a place where they can run, raise money for charity, have what some of them feel is a safe space to do so, many who haven't raced before, and some men objecting to that and in essence wanting to take it away.

there are plenty of men only races and events.

if you go to any mainstream event, the vast majority are male orientated as it is.

due to bio differences, pretty much a high school boy runner will be better than female Olympians. it's just fact. maybe women enjoy being able to run and compete and be near the front of the field.

just like if there was a gay race (as far as i know there is a gay sports competition/worldwide event), or races for people with disabiities, or a race for deaf people, or a race for Asian people. as a white woman i wouldn't try to take that away from them and argue there shouldn't be a race for Asian people. if you look at athletics (track and field) each event is separated by gender. is that sexist? there are women's football matches - men can't take part. i was banned from my primary school football team because i'm female. even though i had been selected, and was in the newspaper in the team photo. there are many many instances of gender being segregated.

what would be nice would be if people could celebrate this amazing event and the amount of money it raises. i wouldn't petition to join a men's event if there were similar women's events, ie i'm not excluded. just like the prostate cancer events and man on the run events. i would respect their space instead of intruding on it. really nice to read the explanation above.

CuriousaboutSamphire · 08/04/2018 16:32

No it isn't because it is not a standalone run, it is part of a larger group of runs that raise money for CRUK. They have women oonly, men only and all comer races. So, as a charity, they are actually catering for everyone, each according to their needs.

I get quite angry about this one, because the question has been raised and answered so many times. Just fuck off with the stupidity, actually think before you try to score points.

Here, from 2010. It's just one of any number of explanations easily available with a quick Google

CuriousaboutSamphire · 08/04/2018 16:35

Ooh! Heck!

I only just realised this was a zombie pots, let who had bumped it... I missed jimcowen completely!

Happy to have been supportive though Smile

Tartsamazeballs · 08/04/2018 18:02

Oh ffs...


All found within a 5 min google. Wind yer neck in.

Tartsamazeballs · 08/04/2018 18:03

Oh ffs zombie thread Angry

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