Bank of America Marathon in Chicago adds nonbinary division for 1st time ever

Boston Marathon will host nonbinary division in 2023

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Bank of America Chicago Marathon adds nonbinary division
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the second major marathon in the country to open a division for nonbinary runners.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Marathon opened a nonbinary runner category for the first time ever ahead of the 2022 weekend event.

Jessica Gorden-Song is an accomplished runner who works at Fleet Feet Sports, coaches other runners and runs an Instagram page for non-binary runners.

They are excited to see one of the biggest marathons in the world add a division this year for runners like them.

"Running isn't just a sport for one type of person. It can be for everybody and help change everybody's life," Gorden-Song said.

"Our sport is all-inclusive and it's always been all-inclusive," added Lisa Zimmer, with Fleet Feet Sports.

The marathon already has numerous other divisions such age, gender and for those racing in wheelchairs. The Bank of America Marathon is now one of several world marathon majors offering a non-binary division.

According to a race spokesperson, it's a work in progress saying, "Discussions are ongoing with non-binary participants and leaders within our sport to work together towards our goal of creating more inclusive event experiences."

"At the end of the day, we don't want people showing up, being misgendered, having a negative experience. No one is advocating for that," said Jake Fedorowski, a marathon consultant.

Cal Calamia, who grew up in Grayslake, is flying in from the west coast to run the marathon and is excited to be registered in the non-binary division.

"Neither of those categories, male or female, are ever going to feel right for because I lived the first 21 years of my life as a female," Calamia said.

About 40,000 runners are expected to line up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday morning. Fewer than 100 of them are registered as non-binary. People in that community expect that number to rise in the coming years.