NYC Pride Run Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

The race's proceeds are benefitting the "It Gets Better" project.

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The 30th NYC Pride Run will take place on June 25 in Central Park. Photo: Front

The race’s proceeds are benefitting the “It Gets Better” project.

When Front Runners New York, a club that represents hundreds of gay and lesbian runners in the city, organized its first New York City Pride Run back in 1982 there were only 35 members of the club and 400 entrants. Fast-forward 30 years to the 2011 edition on June 25 and over 5000 participants are expected to take part in the 5-mile race that winds through Central Park.

Now that’s progress.

Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the “It Gets Better” project, which was launched last year as a response to several highly publicized suicides by gay teenagers. Several members of the club made videos for the project, which seeks to give messages of hope for teenagers suffering from bullying and depression due to their sexual orientation.

Current Front Runners president Megan Jenkins says the choice of beneficiary was fitting, because many members “ran the Pride Run as their first step out of the closet.”

Patrick Guilfoyle is one member of the club who has been there since the beginning.

“It was really great,” he said of his experiences in Front Runners. “For the first time, I had the feeling that this is a community. People were really supportive as friends, which was very important to me at that point in my life.”

For More: USA Today