The women's marathon offers a safe race where women can compete directly with other women. The race starts 1 minute after the men's marathon. As women start separately from men, they have more space and freedom and don't need to deal with scrambling and pushing around at the start. The women's race also means that there is fair competition since women can test their athleticism without the presence of men. As with the men's marathon, there will be a 2 hour pacesetter present, helping less experienced skaters finish the race at a suitable pace. Women's race participants aren't allowed to race alongside men, eliminating the possibility of outside help and unfair competition - although this mainly applies to the women competing for the win. However, skaters who care less about competing directly with other women can meet up with their male friends or partners on the track and skate together. Since the men's and women's races are only a minute apart, skating together is fine as long as you're not going for the medal.