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We recently published our new global five year strategy that sets out the direction for the future.

Gender Categorisation

parkruns are community-led, socially-focused physical activity events delivered with the aim of improving public health. They are not athletic or sporting competitions of the sort governed by national and international federations. This has implications for the categorisation of participants.

Further, parkrun events are open to all and we want to encourage as many people as possible to participate, from all walks of life. This means taking steps to understand and then minimise barriers to registration and to participation that are faced by different people or groups. In light of our focus on inclusivity, in 2019 we reviewed the mandatory question and options on our registration form that related to gender, where up to that time people were asked their gender and given a binary choice of either male or female. In 2023, we conducted another thorough consultation process to ensure this policy remains fit for purpose.

Our considerations were not simply philosophical and practical (in terms of encouraging more people to participate in parkrun) but also legal, cultural and technological in nature given that any change to the wording/categories had to be appropriate across all the countries in which we operate now, and may do in future.

After careful consideration and extensive consultation - both in 2019 and 2023, we decided to continue categorising people based on gender rather than assigned sex. We feel this is aligned with us as a health and wellbeing charity that provides non-competitive socially-focussed physical activity, and allows people to identify in the way they feel most appropriate and comfortable.

In order to ensure that those who do not identify with the gender binary are not excluded from parkrun, in 2019, we decided to expand the range of options that a person could choose from.

In all countries we operate in, parkrunners can now record their gender as male or female, or alternatively they are free to keep that information private by selecting “prefer not to say”.

Further, in the majority of parkrun countries we also offer a fourth option of “another gender identity”. Note: We have a duty of care to our communities and volunteers, and as such in a small number of countries this option is not available for legal, cultural and/or safeguarding reasons.

Gender options are available during registration and can also be subsequently changed through a parkrunner’s parkrun profile.

It is not appropriate or practical for us to request proof or adjudicate the validity of a person’s gender identity, just as we would and could not ask every single person who registers to evidence other stated details, whether that be their name, age, postcode or activity level. Our position, therefore, is that we publish results based on a person’s self-declared information, including gender.

Should an existing parkrunner change their gender identity on their parkrun profile, their results history will remain unchanged. However, going forward, results will be presented as per their current gender. If an individual wishes to be excluded from records, or if they have any other questions regarding a change to their gender in their profile, they should contact parkrun directly via our support page.

Finally, we want to note that the parkrun age grade values are based on established, international proxy metrics, which are currently only available for male and female categories. Should a participant select “prefer not to say” or “another gender identity”, gender-related data will be absent.

At parkrun we aim to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible, and whilst there are and possibly always will be issues around how we record and present people’s identities, following the 2023 consultation, we still believe that our current solution is the most appropriate at this time and will not be making changes to the gender ID policy at parkrun.