A Parkrun event director has quit over an “inclusive policy” to scrap all records from the website amid a row over trans athletes holding all female records.
Organisers received emails from Parkrun bosses warning it will no longer publish records on first-place finishers and age-grade records.
Parkrun removed records after trans athletes were found to have held all female best times
Brockenhurst’s Parkrun event director Mick Anglim announced his departure from Parkrun following the decision, writing on Facebook that he had resigned “in response to HQ’s new ‘inclusive’ policy”.
“Everyone that I’ve spoken to agrees that the removal of age category and age grade records is a mistake,” he told Telegraph Sport.
However, Parkrun CEO Russ Jefferys urged the public to “turn down the heat” and claimed the decision was not influenced by an ongoing campaign to make runners declare their sex at birth.
“I think we need to be careful about making serious accusations – sadly there is just a lot of anger and emotion in this conversation,” Jefferys told BBC5Live.
Runners take part in the 5km Parkrun every weekend
“I think we would all benefit from just turning the heat down and remembering that, in the end, Parkrun is a free, fun community event and a great way to start the weekend.
“Not so much complaints but we conduct regular surveys and we know that one of the biggest barriers … to participation is the misperception that Parkrun is a race.
“I think the criticism we faced from the Women’s Rights Network and others is down to a total misunderstanding of what Parkrun is. It is not a race. It is not a competitive athletic event.”
Instead of scrapping the records, Davies suggests adding course records for trans athletes alongside the existing male and female records.
“Rather than give females their fair sports results from Parkrun … they have removed from public view all records,” Davies said.
“The vast majority want simple, fair sport for all based on the biological reality of the bodies we run / race / compete with.
“The feelings of all females should never matter less than the feelings of a few trans-identifying males.”
She later added on social media: “Keep sport fair for both sexes!”
The Women’s Rights Network said of the row that Parkrun “would rather stop publishing age category data and rankings rather than allow fair sport for women and girls”.
The group added: “There’s only been uproar now because they’d rather wipe records than be fair to women.”