Provide women the race day they deserve.
Get rewarded with the Trail Sisters Approved badge.
There are all kinds of approvals, accreditations and standards when it comes to race verification. Most cover safety, technical procedures, and general organizational handling. Those are all important and needed, but where are the accreditations for equality? If both women and men are paying equal amounts to participate in your race, don’t they deserve an equal experience?
As a leader in the mountain, ultra and trail running (MUT) space for women, Trail Sisters has created a Trail Sisters Approved badge identifying and promoting races who abide by a set of standards set forth and developed by a team of women trail racers. These standards are a starting point, as there is much more that can be added, but the goal is to start moving forward and making progress.
The badge is very accessible to obtain, and should not cause the race director any significant added costs or additional planning. See the requirements and details below!
We are hopeful that race directors will understand and embrace the accreditation. This is an opportunity for education, as well as creating a better and equal race day experience for female participants.
TS Approved Races Commit to the Following:
- Equal Podium Spots
- Equal Prize Money & Awards
- Women’s specific swag & apparel. (no unisex t-shirts)
- Menstrual products at all aid stations.
- Equal opportunity/space for women on the starting line.
Equal Podium Spots
If you celebrate three male participants as podium awardees, you must celebrate three female participants. However many podium awards you decide on, it must be the same for both women and men. Celebrating equal podium spots for both genders shows appreciation of your participants and promotes competitive aspirations. Having the opportunity to be celebrated for their efforts is motivation to enter the race, and an incentive to train harder.
Equal Prize Money & Awards
There is no difference in sign up costs for women and men, thus there should be no difference in prize money and awards. Additionally, a woman’s effort should be respected just as much as a man’s. They are both competing on the same course, in the same conditions and covering the same distance. Providing equal prize money and awards will grow your participation numbers, create a more competitive race and show’s your respect for participant performance.
Women's Specific Swag
If wearable race apparel swag is included with an entry fee, it needs to be gender specific. Receiving a coveted (and technically paid for) apparel item made to fit a man’s body is unacceptable for a woman participant. Both men’s and women’s styles should be made available. Unisex does not count, as that’s normally a smaller fitting men’s piece of apparel.
Providing gender specific apparel actually results in better promotion for your event, as participants will actually wear the items, instead of throwing away or tucking in a closet. People are proud of their race efforts and want to have that keep sake as a reminder. Make that item something they want to hold onto, and something that reminds them to do again.
Let’s all say it together: Vaginas! See, that wasn’t so bad. If you’re still struggling with it, just remember that you most likely came out of one, and that people with vaginas are around you all the time.
It just so happens that many of your race participants have vaginas, and sometimes have their periods. Having their period on race day is not something most (if any) women plan for.
Include menstrual products (tampons and pads) at each aid station where they are easily accessible for a runner to grab and go (not hidden under a table). Extras should be kept with participant first-aid products.
If slathering chafe cream on thighs, boobs and balls is acceptable, so should having and handling a period.
Starting Line Opportunity
This standard requires races to present women with the opportunity to literally toe the start line. Whether that means splitting the start line with men on the left and women on the right, or making announcements inviting women to the front and asking men to share the space.
Sure, any woman can move to the front with or without an announcement or “reserved” space, but this sport welcomes the fastest to the front, which have been traditionally tagged as male participants. The goal is to change the stigma that a start line is reserved for the fastest men, and that women have a right to enjoy the limelight and benefits of standing front and center as well.