Probably more than any other athletic endeavor, in Ultrarunning, men and women are athletes first, and gendered people second.
Go no further than the April issue of UltraRunning Magazine, the voice of endurance running for over 30 years now.
We have an article about Jennifer Pharr Davis (page 30), the woman who now holds the supported speed record on the 2,181 mile Appalachian Trail, in 46 days, 11 hours, 20 min. She averaged 47 miles per day for 46 consecutive days. Let that sink in a bit.
Oh, and it’s not the woman’s speed record. It’s the record, eclipsing previous record holders Andrew Thompson (47+ days), Pete Palmer (48+ days, and David Horton (52+ days)
A bit further on (page 34) we have an article by a woman who investigates the techniques for peeing while female while standing up. In a 30 hour ultra, taking care of bodily functions does consume some time, and to make the process a bit easier, neater, and faster is a significant thing. She was able to achieve success and gets into the detail.
As if these articles are not enough, in the previous (March)issue of UR, where they recap significant performances and statistics for 2011, we see where 18 women won ultras outright, everything from 50K to 100 miles, as in the first place finisher.
As I said, I love this sport!