A San Francisco resident and marathon runner, Cal Calamia, is getting into it with the organizers of the New York City Marathon.
Calamia, who's a non-binary, trans-masculine runner living in San Francisco, won the non-binary race category at last year's famous New York City Marathon. But despite the win, Calamia discovered they were ineligible for the $5,000 prize money that accompanied the prestigious title, per KRON4.
The New York City Marathon became the first major marathon to offer prize money to non-binary runners in 2022. However, after competing and securing the first-place medal, Calamia never received the $5,000 prize money. They reached out to the New York Road Runners (NYRR), the marathon organizers, who said there was a rule that hadn't been followed: runners were supposed to compete in six NYRR races in the year leading up to the New York City Marathon. That stipulation had quietly posted on the marathon's website three months after their registration, according to KRON4.
Calamia said they never saw it, and couldn't have complied if they did. That "would obviously require me to live in NYC,” Calamia told KRON4. “I can't fly out there six times to go do races, so I was really surprised by this being added and really disappointed.”
Then, NYRR issued a statement in response: "Cal was not eligible for the NYRR member division, non-binary prize money as they did not complete the six fully scored races required. The prize money and eligibility requirements for the non-binary category were published on our website at the same time as all the other categories, six months before the race."
As Outsports reported, NYRR also got defensive and said that it has "supported Cal on multiple fronts for nearly a half a year in their fight for inclusion — including assisting them with acquiring pro-bono legal representation in their successful therapeutic use exemption battle. We are saddened by their inaccurate portrayal of this matter." (Calamia had to petition the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to make sure they could compete while on masculinizing hormone therapy, per Outsports.)
Calamia was reportedly unsatisfied with the response and wanted more accountability. ”They didn't say, 'hey, it was our mistake, we should have communicated better,'" Calamia reportedly recounted.
The $5,000 prize instead was awarded to the second-place runner in the non-binary category who fulfilled the six-race requirement.
The good news is, the SF Marathon is coming up over the summer, and it has a non-binary category as well. Hopefully all of the rules are posted well in advance.
Feature image of NYC marathon via Getty Images/Terraxplorer.