In 2021, we were a part of Ultrasignup’s Diversity Committee, and were pushing the registration platform to add a non-binary option to the gender categories. We had been asking for this since 2017, when a runner in our Go Race Series questioned us about it.
As with most software applications, nothing is ever simple and making the change was a more-complex-than-expected endeavor to the code and database and Ultrasignup wanted it to be perfect. The committee stressed the need for something, even if it was just a small step to begin with. In December of that year, the first phase of this important update was rolled out and runners could now select Non-Binary as a gender option on Ultrasignup.
Starting with all three seasons of our 2022 Portland Trail Series, we added a non-binary category to our awards. We were thoughtful and careful and called on some friends in the community to help us do this so that our execution matched our intentions of inclusivity. We still mess up on occasion, but we are trying very hard.
We’re very happy to share that we are adding non-binary awards to our 2023 races!
If you have never created an account on Ultrasignup, you will have the opportunity to choose this gender when you do (which is needed to register or volunteer for one of our races). If you already have an Ultrasignup account, you can change your gender. You need to visit your Profile to do this; you aren’t prompted to do it when signing up.
We would also like to remind everyone about the Trail Mix Fund. This is a non-profit organization that we created last year, to pay the registration fee for those in the LGBTQ+ communities. The intention is to create more diversity in trail running and by covering the cost to race, the hope is that more folks will feel welcome and accepted and join a race. The Trail Mix Fund is also in place for runners of color, and for those who just cannot afford the entry fee and has helped almost 60 people race already!
We are actively adding additional races to the Trail Mix Fund. Hagg Mudd 50K/25K will be the first! If you know of a race that embraces and encourages diversity, ask them to reach out to us about becoming a part of the fund.
If you are, or know a, BIPOC or LGBTQ+ runner who wants to or is considering running a race, apply. It is very easy to apply and the Board will review applications within a week. If you’d like to support the work of the Trail Mix fund, you can donate here.
The next phase(s) of Ultrasignup’s work will address how results are displayed. For now, you still have to choose to have your results in the male or female listings. If you want to read more about Ultrasignup’s work to incorporate this into the results and the rest of their platform, you can do that here:
Thank you to Susan, Trip, Caito, and Keely for your insights and opinions and friendship, and to Jay and David at Ultrasignup to listening and prioritizing this.