Women-Only Running Races

Running races catering to women are now sprouting up and taking place all over the world. One of these, the 5km Venus Run, just took place recently in Singapore.

Some other well-known running races in the Singapore running calendar catering only to women, include the Shape Run in July and the Great Eastern Women’s Run in November – Singapore’s largest Women-Only Half Marathon event.

The Great Eastern Women's Run is the biggest women-only Half Marathon in Singapore.

The Great Eastern Women’s Run is the biggest women-only Half Marathon in Singapore.

As you may have noticed, we probably don’t have men-only running races though. Even the most famous male sporting event on Singapore’s running calendar – the Men’s Health Urbanathlon, which took place earlier this month, has recently decided to include women too. This year, women were allowed to take part, once again.

But we probably won’t see any of the women-only races getting men onto the field soon, though. In fact, at the Great Eastern Women’s Run last year, even the pacing work was done entirely by female pacers – to add to the women-only running vibe.

But are these women-only races a good thing for running?

The Positives 

Helps to give women confidence

By having women-only races, this may motivate new female runners to take the first step and sign up for races. Some first-timers may feel intimidated at the prospect of running alongside faster men. As a result, some women first-timers may be scared that if they take part in a mixed gender race, they could suffer the embarrassing fate of being one of the last-placed finishers.

But once they have some women-only events secured under their running belt, these females may gradually pluck up some more courage and running confidence to enter the mixed-gender races. And their running enthusiasm may just take off from there.

Women may feel self-conscious about looking “unglam” at races

Female runners may feel self-conscious at looking “unglam” in front of male runners while they are racing. In front of the opposite gender, some women may always want to look good. But when they are with other women, they may be less concerned about their appearances.

So this is where women-only races could help such women. Because the field comprises of females only, these women may not care so much about looking “ugly” and “unglam” when they are getting all sweaty and their makeup and mascara is running right down their faces.

The Negatives

Spreading the message that women need separate races

By having women-only races, it may also appear that we are sending the message to women that they may not be able to compete with men. And this would go against the notion of these feminist groups who are fighting for gender equality in sports.

Losing out on race atmosphere

By having women-only races, you are losing out on half of the atmosphere that a running event has. So runners at women’s-only races may not be able to have the full running experience that athletes at mixed-gender races would have. These include having family members (such as husbands/wives and fathers/daughters) running together – and celebrating their combined race victory and completion after the run.

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