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On the warm, humid morning of June 26, 1982, 440 runners assembled in Central Park. A short message from Patricia Nell Warren, author of the gay-themed novel The Front Runner, was read over the PA as the runners stretched and loosened up. Then the horn sounded and the first-ever Lesbian & Gay Pride Run was underway. Remulus Della Valle from the Millrose Athletic Association won that first race in 25:13. The first member of Front Runners New York to finish was Steve Brown (27:56). The ﬁrst woman ﬁnisher was Sue Foster, also of FRNY (31:49).
That landmark race marked the start of an enduring collaboration among FRNY, New York Road Runners and the City of New York. In the early years of the race, some runners were wary of participating, afraid that their sexual identities would be exposed. Today, the Pride Run symbolizes the growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and is an integral part of New York’s city-wide Pride Weekend celebration.
The Pride Run continues to promote the visibility and acceptance of LGBT athletes while celebrating the bond among all members of the running community.