45th San Francisco Marathon introduces non-binary race category

More than 23,000 athletes packed the streets of San Francisco for the 45th Annual San Francisco Marathon.

Among them, Cal Calamia finished in about three hours.

"I did as much as I possibly could out there," said Calamia.

The San Francisco native finished behind dozens of other men and women, but finishing the race was still special and historic; they were the first champion of the marathon's non-binary category. This is the first year the marathon added a non-binary gender category in addition to a men's and women's category. 

"I don't know where I'd run without it," they said. "It's excellent to know there are multiple categories. There's a category that represents me, and I wouldn't have the relationship I have with running if i didn't have a space to run."

The marathon brought in people from all over the world with all levels of experience.

"I've done five," said Karin Patton from Sacramento.

"I've done none, this is my first," said her friend Terri Robinson.

This year, there were no COVID-19 protocols to follow. That means, unlike last year, athletes could go mask free for the entire race.

"I feel great," said Matt Boutrimovitz.

"It's wide open, beautiful air, San Francisco breeze. It's a bummer we're not going across the Golden Gate Bridge at all but we have Golden Gate Park, which is just as beautiful."

Athletes say they loved the normal feel of the race after years of pandemic living. Many welcomed the changes, making this year's race the most inclusive to date. 

"Just to know the categories here, it's a huge inspiration," said Calamia. "It's very motivational to run in this category, so yeah, I'm super happy."