Runners took to the streets Sunday to conquer the LA Marathon, but days later, the controversy continues.
It concerns the gender challenge, which pits the women against the men to see who crosses the finish line first. The winner receives a $50,000 bonus in addition to the $25,000 they are awarded for being the first to finish in their gender.
This year, the women got an 18-minute, 35-second head start. It’s sort of like a handicap in golf. That means men have to run 42 seconds per mile faster than the women to win.
Aleksandra Duliba of Belarus ended up victorious with a time of 2:26:08, outrunning Kenyan Erick Mose, but only with the help of the time differential. He clocked in at 2:09:43.
“At first I was thinking, women don’t need that extra 18 minutes,” Producer Angie said. “But the more I was reading about this, I was wondering why men were faster than women and there are scientific reasons that they are.”
“Women’s bodies are built differently,” she explained. “They have bigger hips, so they run slower. Men have bigger hearts and lungs, so they process oxygen faster. They are faster, just in general, than women are.”
Carson, on the other hand, felt the whole concept of the gender challenge and its lucrative prize seemed to overshadow the event.
“I see what you’re saying on the leveling [of] the playing field for the sake of sport, for the sake of competition…It seems fair how they got the time of 18 minutes. I just, in watching it and being excited about the LA Marathon, it just seemed weird.”
“And maybe it’s the money thing because there’s so much money at stake,” he added. “There’s this golden carrot being dangled over the gender part of this as opposed to just who won the LA Marathon.”
Carson also worries about the message this sends to men and women who work together in competitive environments.
“Are we supposed to be handicapping everything though? Where does this stop?”
Listen to Carson and Angie’s entire discussion below:
- Do you think the LA Marathon gender challenge is fair? Explain why or why not in the comments section!