Long-distance runner Jacob Caswell took first place in the nonbinary division of the New York City marathon this past Sunday. This was the second year the marathon included a division for nonbinary participants and the first year that cash prizes were awarded to the winners of the division. In doing so, the marathon became the first world major marathon to award cash prizes to nonbinary division runners.
The race conditions were not ideal with unseasonably warm weather, but Caswell persevered to cross the finish line with a final time of 2:45:12. For comparison, the overall winner of the race, Kenya's Evans Chebet, recorded a time of 2:08:41. After the race, Caswell told Runner's World they were happy to be crowned champion of the division but that they could have done a better job of managing their energy throughout the 26-mile course.
"I went through the first half a little faster than I should have," Caswell told Runner's World. "I wish I felt better, but it is what it is, and I finished. That's all that matters."
For their efforts, Caswell received the first-place prize of $5,000. Last year's winner, Zackary Harris, finished with a time of 3:09:41, earning them $4,000. Justin Solle finished third in 3:14:48 and netted $3,000. Nick Dill took fourth with a time of 3:27:30 and Erin Anthony took fifth with a time of 3:29:33 and netting $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.
After the race, an emotional Dill told Runner's World the overall experience was unique and affirming.
"I've felt excluded from sports my entire life. To show up on race day and be recognized for who you are -- and to hear people cheering for who you are -- is really special. It makes me really emotional," said a tearful Dill.
"I just got married, so I'll probably use it on my honeymoon," Dill replied when asked how they would spend their prize money.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series of six major marathons throughout the world: Tokyo Marathon, B.A.A. Boston Marathon, TCS London Marathon, BMW Berlin-Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and TCS New York City Marathon. Five of the six marathons also have a division for nonbinary runners, but the body does not provide money for nonbinary winners. Instead, this year's cash prizes were paid by the New York Road Runners.