Men charged more than women to run Des Moines Women’s Half-Marathon

The Iowa race now says that "registration cost is equal for all and all are welcome" after previously charging men a higher entry fee than women.

Des Moines Women's Half-Marathon

The Des Moines Women’s Half-Marathon, which is now sold out in its general registration category, charged men 23 per cent more than women for registration. The first annual event in Iowa’s most populous city and capital is set for May 7.

The Des Moines Women’s Half-Marathon posted the following notice on its website, which has since been taken down. (The statement, however, appears on a cached version of the page.) Race organizers cite that the difference in fees was meant to reflect “the current wage inequality between men and women.”

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“Our mission in hosting a women’s specific event is to highlight powerful, determined and awesome women, and to show the power [of] the community in progressing a movement. We know that there are men amongst us who support this progress as well and therefore we have decided to allow a limited number of male registrations to the event.

However, we have chosen to adjust our male registration by 23 per cent to reflect the current wage inequality between men and women in the State of Iowa. Men who choose to sign up will therefore be considered an advocate of our movement and will be welcomed at the event with open arms.


The 23 per cent cost difference will be given to a Des Moines based women’s empowerment initiative.”

Race weekend also includes a 5K and a team relay though the half-marathon is the “signature event.” first reported on the differing registration fees.

On Tuesday, race organizers posted to Facebook that “the registration cost is equal for all and all are welcome.”

Other information on the website is no longer accessible. In the frequently asked questions (FAQ) portion of the website, for example, race organizers noted that “there will be a restroom located at each aid station, after all it is a women’s race.”

Originally included in the FAQ section, organizers stated that there would be a limited number of men’s registration slots, though not more than five per cent of the total participation number. “As such, we’re asking men to pay 23 per cent more for their registration to reflect the current pay inequality between men and women in the State of Iowa,” it stated.