The Philly Pride Parade and Festival will include a 1.5-mile Pride Run to kick off the parade at this year’s festivities.
Philly Pride Presents collaborated with William Way LGBT Community Center, Lez Run Running Club-Philadelphia and Out Philadelphia Athletic League (OPAL) for the June 18 event, which will serve as a precursor for a Philly Pride 5K Race the organization is preparing for 2018. Chris Bartlett and Shana McMahan, William Way’s executive director and development director, respectively, will serve as members of the advisory committee.
“Philly Pride is very happy with the LGBT sports leagues being involved with kicking off the parade this year with a short race and, starting next year, the first annual 5K run starting before the parade kicks off,” said Franny Price, Philly Pride Presents’ executive director, in a statement to PGN.
Runners will begin at Camac and Locust streets and pass Independence Mall en route to the festival at Penn’s Landing. Runners’ $10 entry fee will go toward funding programs at William Way. The first 50 individuals to register will get the $15 cover charge for the festival waived while all runners will receive a bag filled with bottled water and snacks at the finish line. Additionally, organizers will provide free registration for young adults from The Attic Youth Center and the LGBTQ Home for Hope, as well as residents of the John C. Anderson Apartments.
“We want everyone in the LGBTQ communities and their families and friends to join us,” said C.C. Tellez, the event’s director and founder of Lez Run Running Club-Philadelphia. “Come run shoulder to shoulder with Philadelphia’s finest, show us your Pride and let’s line our streets with positive vibes that only our community is capable of generating.”
Anh Dang, a William Way board member and one of the event’s organizers, is involved with several athletic clubs in the city. He said it’s a dream to combine his love for running with the LGBT community.
“I see this run as an opportunity for me to invite my running friends to celebrate Pride with me,” Dang said. “I also hope that having the run happening along with Pride will inspire some LGBT members to become lifelong runners.”
Robert Lenahan is a board member of William Way, Out Philadelphia Athletic League and the City of Brotherly Love Softball League. He told PGN he has been “looking for a great way to bring all of the sporting leagues together to support and celebrate the LGBTQ communities.”
“Coordinating a race with Pride is the perfect way to bring all of these great organizations together along with our allies to celebrate Pride while supporting not only the achievements of Philly Pride Presents but the William Way LGBT Community Center,” Lenahan said.
The Philly Pride 2017 fun run will kick off 11:30 a.m. June 18. Registration will be available in early April on William Way’s website (waygay.org) and Philly Pride Presents’ website (phillygaypride.org).