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Throughout the month of June, we’re highlighting organizations and initiatives that advocate for greater outdoor access among the LGBTQ+ community. Today’s feature is Front Runners, an international LGBTQ+ network that organizes events and group runs.
Founded in 1974, just five years after the Stonewall Riots, Front Runners became an important part of building community in the early days of the gay rights movement. From the first chapter, which started in San Francisco as a way to bring LGBTQ+ runners together, Front Runners has grown into a truly international community that now boasts local chapters across five continents with 56 in the United States alone. And it’s no longer just for runners. Many of the chapters welcome walkers, too.
You can join a local chapter by searching the international website for a Front Runner chapter near you. All chapters operate autonomously to best serve the unique needs of their communities, but a mainstay of the network is a calendar of regularly scheduled group runs. Some chapters also even organize large events, such as the San Diego Chapter’s Pride 5K, to raise money for local LGBTQ+ organizations. Don’t see a chapter in your area? Reach out to a Front Runner regional representative to talk about how you can start one.