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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.

Like most mainstream sporting events, we award prizes to athletes competing in categories of “male” and “female.” A gender-neutral event would likely award prizes only to male runners, who tend to be significantly faster than female runners. It’s important to us to elevate female 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 who do not identify as female or male, or who do not want to share their gender identity, are able to choose the “Non-Binary/prefer not to answer” option on the registration form.

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. 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 choose the “Non-Binary/prefer not to answer” option and participate in the 5k Road Race will be ranked in the overall race results, but will not be included in the age/gender graded results.

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!