The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

Remember that statistic I posted a few days ago?

This is only one very obvious reminder that our races aren’t fully equitable to everyone and men still dominate our sport, just like they dominate almost every aspect of our lives.

SheRACES Founder Sophie Power is doing something about that.

Sophie is the trail runner and mom who ran UTMB and breastfed at an aid station a few years ago. Here’s how that came to be:

I was famously photographed racing the UTMB, a 106 mile mountain race whilst breastfeeding my 3 month old baby. I wanted to defer my place until I was fully fit but whilst the organisation will defer places for injury, for them pregnancy is seen as a choice. Completing the UTMB was a dream for me, and having already lost a hard won place whilst pregnant with my first son I chose to race. Many women lose out on that opportunity.

This photo captured a moment. Since then there’s been an effort made bringing equality to our races and events. Trail Sister here in the US has been championing for this for many years and many races have adopted or changed their policies to be more inclusive. Several others have ways to go.

From what I can tell, here’s UTMB’s policy on this matter:

Runners who cancel their registration or do not participate in the race they registered for will benefit from no advantage in the following year’s lottery.

UTMB offers a race cancelation insurance runners can purchase as an add-on. This will give people their used running stones back and their entry fee, or a portion of each, depending when they cancel their entry. But their ‘lottery win’ is lost and they have to go back into the general lottery and get back at keeping up UTMB Index points.

We still have so far to go. And some days, especially like these last couple of weeks, it feels we are slipping backwards.