Sunday, October 2, 2011
Females in the Field
The HOT Version of the The Wild Oak Trail Race was held yesterday, still wondering how that went. (This is known as Hot Twot.)
In perusing the web site, there have only been two female finishers of TWOT! (The original, held in February).
What's with the few female finisher rate in runs/races I am interested in? Do females not care? Do they not know about races? Or is it because statistically, we're a much smaller portion of the ultra running community?
I know there are more and more female trail runners. There are so many now, at local races, I don't know all the female names...it was easy when there was just a few of us.
But I am talking here, above, in the popular local races. The local 50K events and such.
When you move up a notch, or up a degree of difficulty, the numbers seem to drop off again.
My spring race, the MMT, had 24 female starters of 195 starters.
My race this weekend, the Trilogy, has 11 females of out 30-that actually seems like a pretty high number to me.
Why aren't women progressing up the scale? Do they not want to? Do they think they can't do it? Or is it, simply,they don't have the interest?
So, I guess, begging the question, what makes me different from these other females, in terms of motivation?
It is no longer bling (it never was, with me) or whatever schwag you get for finishing. (Although I am very proud of my MMT buckle!!)
Some of it is peer review. When Lloyd ran his 50 miles at URINEO, in 2009, he said he did it,"Now in the fourth edition, only a handful of NEO Trail Club members have finished the entire 50 miles. I started the day with the idea to add my name to this list of esteemed runners."
Lloyd told that to me, at the end of his 50 miler in 2009. I was immediately stoked-and committed-to also add my name to the list of NEO TC members who have completed a URINEO 50 mile. I did so in 2010.
There is a little event in the VHTRC world, called The Ring, and Reverse Ring. Both Fat Ass Events, no bling given, or wanted, but you get your name, as a Master of the Ring after finishing both directions of the Massanutten Trail Loop. The only ones that know about this is yourself and anyone else that cares. As in the VHTRC, there are some pretty esteemed folks that know about, think it's cool/great/astonishing, and get their cool congratulations afterwards. And many times, at least for me, that means more than any bling I could pick up in an organized race setting. I get the respect of my peers.
I think I will try and do some research, to see what kind of number of females finished trail races compared to males in 2010 or a previous year. Maybe there are some stats from Ultrarunning Magazine I can look at.
But meanwhile, I have to go drop my Hardrock 2012 application in the mail.