With over 40,000 runners beginning and ending in the city’s Grant Park and winding its way through 29 different neighborhoods, the Chicago Marathon, which dates back to 1905, remains one of the nation’s most popular 26.2-mile courses.

Earlier this month, it also joined London and Boston as one of the first globally recognized races to add a “non-binary” division to its finishing categories. The New York City Marathon, scheduled for November 6th, will also include such a division for the first time.

In this instance, the term “non-binary” is a made-up category for people who claim they’re neither male nor female. The reality, of course, is that this is an impossibility. Despite the growing pressure to acknowledge otherwise, there are only two biological sexes – male and female.

Scientifically speaking, there are two chromosomal compositions: XX (female) and XY (male).

Theologically speaking, we read of the two sexes in the first chapter of Genesis, verse 27:

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

It’s that simple and that straightforward.

Some have suggested adding a third category to competitive sports will help alleviate the unfairness of men registering and competing against females – but just adding another division doesn’t mean men won’t still pull such unfair shenanigans. After all, when you suspend reality, it’s no longer what biological sex you actually are, but what you “identify” as.

Out of over 40,000 registered runners in Chicago, 41 competitors signed up in the “non-binary” division – just .1%. Placing first was a runner named Blank Bruno with a time of 2 hours and 47 minutes. In the running world, this is a solid time, but it’s nowhere near championship levels. By comparison, Benson Kipruto, the winner of the male race, clocked in at 2 hours and 4 minutes, 697 places ahead of Blank. Ruth Chepngetich, who placed first among women, blazed in at 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Reading between the lines of a Runner’s World interview with Bruno, it appears the runner is a male in the midst of hormone therapy. But the name “Blank” was a deliberately “androgynist” name taken to communicate Bruno’s mistaken belief that it’s possible to be neither male nor female.

Speaking with the magazine, Bruno hints at the origins of his current state, which appear rooted in trauma. When he was 13 years old, Bruno’s father died of a sudden heart attack.

“It shook me to the core,” he said. “It felt like God abandoned me. It felt like all the foundations I thought I knew about life tumbled before me—I felt loss, [was] disoriented, apathetic. It was definitely rough, and I think that’s what put a damper on my development as a human. That made me fall deeper into escapism.”

Escapism. Blank Bruno’s own words.

The American Psychological Association defines escapism as the tendency to escape from the real world to the safety and comfort of a fantasy world.

This is what’s behind the “trans” movement – it’s an escape from reality. It may not actually be safe, but an increasing number of people claim to be finding (at least temporarily) a form of comfort from it.

In the Runner’s World feature, Bruno extols the many physical and emotional benefits of running, all of which are very true. The demands of the sport attract a certain type of person who thrives on routine, as well as physical challenges. It can provide much needed structure. Many daily runners, myself included, liken a daily run to helping keep the train on the tracks. In a very beautiful way, running can help make one over, in a way, physically, on a daily basis. As the late running guru Dr. George Sheehan famously observed, “Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.”

But that is only the physical – and we are so much more than our skin, sweat and bones.

Losing a father when you’re just thirteen is devastating, and it’s understandable why Bruno would experience such a roller coaster of emotion. Escaping into a fantasy world concerning one’s sex, though, only compounds the tragedy.

For someone struggling to find their true identity and be truly made over, Jesus Christ is the ultimate source and solution.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation,” wrote the apostle Paul. “Old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

That same apostle Paul was known to use athletic metaphors when speaking and writing about the Christian. There’s no indication he was a runner himself, but he knew how to communicate using the language of the people. He talked about training for godliness (1 Tim. 4:7), stressed the importance of competing according to rules (2 Tim. 2:5), pointed out that the best athletes prepare and win by exercising self-control (1 Cor. 9:25), and it’s the runner with the most endurance who ultimately wins the race (Hebrews 12:1).

Blank Bruno and countless others consumed by sexual confusion are all running a race – whether the literal Chicago, Boston, New York City marathons or the many miles of life known as daily living. And so are all of us. Our courses may look different, but the only way we’re going to compete and ultimately win the race that truly matters is to keep our eyes on Jesus – “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). The finish line of this life will be futile if we don’t run and reach for the prize (1 Cor. 9:24) that really matters most – life eternal with Christ.

Photo from Shutterstock.