Always a festive event, the Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run promises to be especially celebratory this year, given the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.
The five-mile race through Central Park, set for Saturday, June 29, at 9:00 a.m., is the 32nd running of a collaboration between NYRR and Front Runners New York, a competitive and social club for LGBT athletes and their supporters.
A marathon qualifier that draws more than 6,000 participants, the Pride Run is already sold out, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ali Forney Center, America’s largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth. The organization provides the basics—access to showers, clothing, and food—as well as housing opportunities, medical treatment, and mental health services.
The Pride Run is the first of two major NYRR events taking place in Central Park this weekend. The 11th Annual Achilles Hope & Possibility 5-mile race, a chance for disabled and able-bodied runners of all ages and skill levels to come together and celebrate the joys of running, will be run the next day, Sunday June 30, at 9:00 a.m.
Like the Pride Run, this year’s Hope & Possibility race is especially meaningful, since it comes mere months after the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Event sponsor Achilles International—a nonprofit organization committed to providing support for athletes with disabilities—will commemorate the tragedy by welcoming as its VIP guest Mery Daniel, a Boston survivor who lost a leg in the attack.
Daniel, a 31-year-old mother of a 5-year-old daughter, was recently featured on the cover of People magazine under the headline “Boston Strong.” Given Daniel’s amazing resilience, it might also have read “I Will Survive,” and appropriately enough, this year’s Hope & Possibility race will also feature celebrity guest Gloria Gaynor, the singer of that 1978 disco classic. Gaynor will cheer on finishers and help distribute the medals given to all participants.
This weekend, NYRR will also sponsor the 2013 USATF National Club Track & Field Championships. The event runs today through Sunday at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island—click here for more information.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg