The London Marathon has pledged to give women more support and make them feel ‘as comfortable as possible’ on race day this year. The London Marathon has issued guidance to tell women what they can expect with the aim to ‘embrace equality’ this year.
Last year the London Marathon announced pregnant or postpartum participants could defer their place to the same category in any future London Marathon within a three-year window – should they want to. However, this year organisers want to do even more to support women by offering free sanitary products, breastfeeding areas and the peequel for women on the go.
A London Marathon spokesperson said: “We can’t wait to cheer on the greatest-ever women’s field in this year’s elite races on Sunday 23 April – but we also want to celebrate and support women in the mass event so the day can go as smoothly as possible as they smash their personal goals.
“We’re also putting together various forms of support for women in the run-up to the 2023 TCS London Marathon and on Marathon Day itself.”
London Marathon - how women are being supported
If your period arrives a little earlier or later than expected on Marathon Day, there’s no need to panic – free sanitary products, including tampons and towels from Tampax and Always, will be supplied at all medical stations, Information Points and changing rooms, along with other useful bits and bobs you may need, such as hair ties and grips, breast pads, tissues and wet wipes.
Introducing the Peequal!
You may have come across these innovative female urinals if you’ve been to music festivals such as Glastonbury or Green Man in recent years. Ideal for when you just need a quick wee, the Peequal will cut queues in the Red and Blue Assembly Areas thanks to its simple ‘squat and go’ design. Peequal’s co-founders Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane claim it’s six times quicker to use than a conventional loo – although there will still be plenty of these available for those who prefer them.
This year there will be a private area for breastfeeding and/or expressing milk just before the halfway point and at the Finish for any participants who need it. The areas are supported by parenting charity Best Beginnings, whose representatives will be also on hand to offer support and advice.
Clare Lyons-Collins, CEO of Best Beginnings, said: “Supporting parents is our number one priority and we’re thrilled to be able to support breastfeeding participants during the TCS London Marathon this year. Breastfeeding can be challenging for many people, and that’s before you throw a 26.2-mile event into the mix!
“By providing feeding and expressing tents, plus essentials like nipple cream and breast pads, we hope to support more women to get across the Finish Line. We want to build on this initiative in future to encourage even more women to take part while breastfeeding!”
The TCS London Marathon Running Show
London Marathon organisers plan on tackling topics such as running while on your period and training at different stages of your cycle, as well as talking about exercise before, during and after menopause, at the TCS London Marathon Running Show. There will be more details of the programme and the guest speakers who’ll be sharing their knowledge and experiences on our TCS London Marathon Running Show page soon.