For the first time in the history of the New York City Marathon, prize money will be awarded to non-binary runners during next month's race. The New York Road Runners announced on Monday that the top five finishers in the category will receive a cash prize.
"We are so proud that the TCS New York City Marathon attracts such a diverse and global community of runners, and we are deeply focused on ensuring all of our athletes feel welcome and included at NYRR," Kerin Hempel, the NYRR Runners CEO, said in a press release.
According to the marathon's official website, the first-place runner in the division will receive $5,000. The top runners in the men's and women's open divisions, made up solely of professional and invited athletes, will earn $100,000.
The NYRR first introduced a non-binary category in June of 2021, and have since developed qualifying standards, as well as prizes, during other races the organization has held this year. The New York event will be the first Abbott World Marathon Majors race to award prize money for the top non-binary finishers.
In the same press release the NYRR announced the marathon had become the first sporting event declared a "Safe Space" by the Stonewall Inn in recognition of its inclusivity efforts for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization also said it was creating a number of other diversity initiatives including offering a course-record bonus for the professional wheelchair division, a relaunch of their program offering race-fee assistance to "under-resourced runners" from the local area, and a private tent for nursing mothers near the starting line.
"These new initiatives demonstrate our deep commitment to centering and operationalizing equity in everything we do," Erica Edwards-O'Neal, the organization's senior vice president of culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, said in the release.
The marathon will be held on Nov. 6. After allowing a limited number of participants due to the pandemic in 2021, a full capacity field of 50,000 runners are expected.