Trail Sisters – more gender equity in trail running

Trail Sisters is-first and foremost-a great community, a movement. Trail Sisters aims to achieve gender equity in trail running, both through concrete actions and through the development of educational models to be spread as widely as possible. Trail Sisters has a cool name, let’s face it.

“Our mission is to increase womxn’s participation and opportunity in trail running and hiking through inspiration, education and empowerment.”

Join the team

There is a team, which anyone can join. this is the easy part. Membership entitles to participate in group workouts, connection with other members via a dedicated app, access to a series of live speeches (notable names include Hillary Allen and Courtney Dauwalter). Besides the trucker hat and a handful of stickers, of course. The truth is that signing up is primarily a way to concretely support the movement and its actions.

Practical help

One of the small-but-concrete things Trail Sisters does on a daily basis is to support women with a donation: thanks to the partnership with The North Face there are the Trail Sisters Childcare Grant and the Trail Sisters Adventure Grant. Finally, a personalized coaching program is offered for participation in some trail running races, among those supported by the project.

Trail Sisters approved

This is perhaps my favorite thing and also what most distinguishes this association from others. To get the Trail Sisters Approved badge a race it must meet a number of parameters, nothing sensational really, in fact something that in 2022 should almost be taken for granted but unfortunately is still far from being so.

Equal Podium Spots

Perhaps the parameter that many of us take for granted is normality, but no: there are still races that reward more men than women.

Equal Prize Money & Awards

Again, we should be in the realm of trivia: same race, same entry fees, same prize. Easy peasy.

Women’s Specific Swag

If there is an item of clothing in the race pack, let it be gender specific: moreover, there is a greater chance that that item will then be worn for real and thus should also be of promotional interest to the organization itself. Of course, then there would have to be a long discussion about sizes-I have a collection of useless XL shirts despite marking S in the registration form every time.

Menstrual Products

Products available at all aid stations for distances beyond the half marathon. When “mandatory material” should be in the lists of organizers, not participants.

Starting Line Opportunity

The starting line is for the best, for the fastest, right. But let’s make it not just for the fastest males, can we? It’s then often a matter of leaving a couple of feet of space, which is there for everyone, you just have to think about it (and basically “just thinking about it” I would say can apply to almost every item on this list).

Needless to say, we could use some sisterhood here at home as well.


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