To: John Temperton, Chair of English Cross Country Association & Domestic Competition Manager at UK Athletics

Equalise cross-country races for men and women in England

Equalise cross-country races for men and women in England

Cross-country races should be the same distance for men & women, and for girls & boys within each age group.

Why is this important?

Women & men race over the same distances on the roads and on the track, but in cross-country the women's races are often much shorter, sometimes barely more than half of the men's distance. For example, at the SEAA Main Championships the senior men run 15K while the senior women only run 8K. That is as if the London Marathon was 26.2 miles for men and only 14 for women.

This both downgrades the women's event compared to the men's, and sends a message to girls that they are not capable of as much as boys. Sport should be empowering girls and women, not keeping them in their place.

It is 33 years since the women's marathon was included in the Olympic Games. The IAAF have equalised the distances run in the World Cross-Country Championships, and Scottish Athletics have done the same for their national championships. It is high time competitions in England followed suit.


Reasons for signing

  • In terms of running, both genders should run the same distance. It would be idiosyncractic and irrational to oppose this point of view. We live in a society that pushes for gender equality in the greatest of extremes to the extent of controversy however in a legitimate case this is not permitted. In genunine cases, this can be seen as the subconscious societal conditioning of women, producing early forms of gender socialisation and inequality
  • I'm a race director, using RunBritain supervised by UK Athletics. Totally shocked to discover out-dated discrimination in our sport. Shame on you UK Athletics.
  • We are all equal


2018-01-18 11:16:49 +0000

Check out this week's Marathon Talk podcast - they talk about XC equality about 10 minutes in.

2018-01-14 14:44:19 +0000

Here's our piece on Sky News, including an interview with the great Jo Pavey:

2018-01-13 17:10:41 +0000

We've had some great articles on this issue in the last few days, by myself and others:

2018-01-10 18:17:51 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-12-11 11:54:36 +0000

Thanks to all you fabulous people who have signed so far. We now have a Facebook group to help spread the word - please join!

2017-12-09 23:01:01 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-12-07 21:35:25 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-12-07 18:44:42 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-12-07 17:58:42 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-12-07 17:29:06 +0000

10 signatures reached