A man claiming to be “gender fluid” has won the women’s category of a mountain race in Spain, signing up after there were no more spaces left in the men’s category. Quim Durán Pradas, who lives his day-to-day life as a man, says running makes him feel “feminine.”
La Cursa de NaDalt is a chrono-climbing race held annually in December in Catalonia, and its most recent iteration, held on December 26 of 2023, was its 13th anniversary. The race, which starts in Sant Pere de Torelló and ends at the Sanctuary of Bellmunt, is a short but challenging event, and consists of a spectacular route of trails and climbs of 3,862 meters with a positive elevation gain of 620 meters.
In true Spanish fashion — once at the finish line, every racer gets a glass of sparkling wine, something to eat, and to finish it off, hot chocolate.
But the results of the most recent race sparked outrage in Spain after it was discovered that a 48-year-old male had won the top prize in the women’s category.
Imagen de los ganadores de las clasificaciones femenina y masculina de la carrera Na’Dalt.— Irene Aguiar (@IreneAguiarG) January 28, 2024
A la izquierda, ganador de la femenina (Quim Duran, 48 años). A la derecha, ganador de la masculina (Ïu Net, 19).
Ninguna mujer. El borrado de la mujer era esto.
📷 Gil Ayats https://t.co/F7DHW4xUsj pic.twitter.com/JQmuAISkhQ
Speaking to La Vanguardia, sources from the event’s organizing committee explained that the initial outburst had begun at the awards ceremony, where several people broke out into an argument.
Among them was Quim Durán Pradas, a 48-year-old male runner who was seen at the awards ceremony wearing makeup, earrings, and a ponytail.
“[He] was saying that [he] had won in the women’s category and that [he] had every right to be recognized. As an organization, we were caught off guard. There had never been a case like this in previous editions,” explained sources from within the Centre Excursionista Serragrenyada, organizer of the event.
Durán Pradas reportedly threatened to sue the event if he was not provided the prize he claimed he had earned — a pricey leg of cured Iberian ham from Beher Red Label. The prize’s value could range anywhere from €100 to €500 (approx. $107 to $540 USD) depending on the weight of the leg.
Due to his threats and aggression, the event organizers attempted to accommodate him, noting that it was “a bit of a tense situation.” Durán Pradas ended up receiving a provisional victory in the women’s general category. When he stood to receive his ham, there was booing in the audience.
The fastest female, Laia Montoya, had previously taken the top spot in the race in 2022 and 2023. Though she had been booted out of earning the top prize by Durán Pradas, the organizers sent her a box of Iberian ham anyway out of apparent acknowledgement of the unfairness of the situation.
Durán Pradas would have come in 55th place had he participated in the men’s category.
On Instagram, the race’s organizing committee issued a statement explaining “the ethical, moral and philosophical dilemma” they faced.
“We want to show our support and the utmost tolerance, solidarity, and empathy towards gender-vulnerable people,” they wrote. “However, at the same time we also want to underline that the NaDalt race has always tried to promote women’s sport, because historically it has been discriminated and less visible.”
Yesterday, Durán Pradas appeared on Más Espejo, a popular Spanish morning show, where he explained that he is a “gender fluid” athlete who feels “feminine” when he is running in natural environments, but “masculine” at all other times. He is not on any hormone therapy, and does not intend to seek out any surgeries.
“I am gender fluid, and when I run in the mountains, I feel like a woman, I feel like the other female runners,” he said. “I have been to an inclusive psychologist who told me that this is not a disorder. I am simply a person who, depending on the situations, is gender fluid. In my day-to-day life, at home when I’m with my children, I feel like a man. In my leisure time, in contact with nature, I feel like a woman.”
On the program, Durán Pradas stated that he wanted to educate audiences about gender fluidity, also noting that he had previously felt too scared to participate in a women’s category but decided to finally take the risk after being informed there were no slots left in the men’s category. He described the situation as La Cursa de NaDalt “putting [the opportunity] on a platter” for him.
He refused to accept questions from the presenter and the rest of the morning show’s panel, deeming them too “argumentative” to respond to. He then complained he was being subjected to a “hate crime” after one of the panelists accused him of “cheating” for running without having altered his testosterone levels.
“I thought this was going to go well for me, and you just won’t let me justify my position,” Durán Pradas said. “People who do not understand [gender fluidity] and ridicule it as you are ridiculing it… it can become a hate crime.”
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