Ore to Shore addresses sexism allegations regarding prize money after petition asks for changes

Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic 2021
Memories of the Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic 2021.(Andy Gregg / MQTphoto.com)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:16 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Ore to Shore says it is aware of concerns regarding the “perceived inequitable distribution of racer prize money between men and women in its 48-mile event.”

It released the following statement Wednesday evening after a petition circulated asking for changes.

“Our prize structure has been more than equitable based on numbers of participants in each division. However, we appreciate the concern raised and are sympathetic to how an individual could perceive an inequity. Here are the facts about Ore to Shore’s historical prize money distribution.

The total prize money has been weighted more heavily to the men’s field because it is significantly larger. For example, In the 2021 48-mile race, there were 74 female participants and 560 male participants. In fact, for more than 10 years, the average participation in the 48- mile race has been roughly 90% men and 10% women.

Thus, based on our current prize distribution, The top 20 men split $4,835 in prize money while the top 5 women split $3,750 prize. Female riders receive 43% of the total prize money up for grabs in the 48-mile event. Only the top 3.57% of male racers received prize money while the top 6.57% of female racers received prize money.

Ore to Shore is a nonprofit volunteer-driven organization that has hosted and grown a grassroots bike race for more than 20 years. This event attracts 2,500+ riders participating at many levels. Above all, our priority is that all racers are happy, safe, and satisfied. Based on the perceived female/male prize inequity raised by some of our racers, the Ore to Shore Race has added prize awards for the 2022 race and are re-evaluating how prize money will be redistributed for future races. The 2022 48-mile race prize distribution will be equally designated to both the men’s field ($4,835) and women’s field ($4,835), regardless of the number of participants in each group. For the 2022 48-mile race, the prize award structure will have an equal prize payout across both the men’s and women’s race field:

Ore to Shore shared this graph with TV6.
Ore to Shore shared this graph with TV6.(WLUC)

The restructuring of our prize award is consistent with the Ore to Shore’s goal of being the preeminent mountain bike racing event in the Midwest. The Ore to Shore would like to thank Love & Bicycles of Negaunee Michigan for underwriting this opportunity to increase racer equity, participation & recognition by committing to the additional prize money needed to make the expanded prize structure possible for this year’s race. We are busy preparing for the 2022 race on August 13 and are planning for another record-breaking turnout of racers and spectators!

Scott Tuma

Race Director”

TV6 will continue to follow this story.

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