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‘Nonbinary Runners Have Been Here the Whole Time’

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As a middle-distance runner for Columbia University, Jacob Caswell did not feel like they had space to be themself. Because collegiate track and field events include only men’s and women’s divisions, Caswell, who is nonbinary, competed in men’s races.

But they said they felt constrained by gender norms as an N.C.A.A. athlete, unable to question their gender identity or explore self-expression without risking their place on a team.

Road racing is now creating intentional space for runners like Caswell. In late March, Caswell ran the New York City Half Marathon in a new category for nonbinary runners that included 21 entrants.

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