Gender and the Hot Chocolate Run

Safe Passage’s services and programs are available to people of all gender identities. Services for LGBQ, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people is a long-standing priority at Safe Passage.

Running events traditionally subscribe to the gender binary, requiring that participants register under “male” or “female” categories. As the organizer of one of the largest running events in western Massachusetts, Safe Passage hopes to be a leader in making races more inclusive of all gender identities.

You might ask why we collect gender information from participants at all. Why don’t we make the Hot Chocolate Run entirely gender-neutral? Many of our participants run in our race because it’s highly competitive. These competitive runners are an important part of the event’s success and sustainability.

We award prizes to athletes competing in categories of “women” and “men.” A gender-neutral event would likely award prizes only to runners in the “men” category, who tend to be significantly faster than women runners. It’s important to us to elevate women athletes, and it’s important to us to be gender inclusive.

Registration form: We collect gender information from our participants only so that we may offer age- and gender-graded results in the 5K Road Race. Participants may choose among these options:

Women, Men, Trans/agender/non-binary, Prefer not to answer

Race Results: Whether you participate in the 5k Road Race, the 5k Fun Run, or the 3K Walk, your chip time will be included in race results. 

5k Road Race: Participants who check “women” will have their race results ranked in the “women” category. Those who check “men” will compete against others in the “men” category. Safe Passage welcomes cisgender and transgender people in these categories. We award prizes to the top 3 women, top 3 men, and top 25 age/gender-graded finishers in the 5k Road Race. Participants who check “trans/agender/non-binary” or “prefer not to answer” will not be ranked by gender.

5k Fun Run and 3k Walk: Participants will not be ranked.

We want to hear from you! If you have feedback or ideas about how we can do better, please email us at Thank you for your support.