Proud to Run 5K races through Chicago's lakefront Pride Parade weekend

Thu. June 19, 2014 4:17 AM by Anthony Broderick

Chicago, IL - Proud to Run celebrates their 33rd annual LGBT 5K race on Saturday, June 28, 2014 along Chicago's lakefront. 

According to Proud to Run's (PTR) website, the race is Chicago's original 5K run and walk that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex/inquiring, & allies (LGBTQI&A) pride. The race is certified by sports organizations Chicago Area Runners Association and USA Track and Field.

PTR originated in June 20 1982, when members from the CMSA organized the first 10K run and one mile walk for participants to celebrate LGBT pride and financially benefit the community.

"The event is family and ally oriented and we are the cheapest 5K in Chicago," said PTR Organizer Gary Brown. "We want it to be affordable so everyone can participate in it."

All proceeds from the race will go to LGBT beneficiaries such as; "About Face Theatre," a celebrated arts center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allies, "Test Positive Aware Network," Chicago's mobile HIV testing center, and "The Night Ministry," a youth street outreach team that focuses on homeless and LGBT youth in Lakeview. These community outreach programs positively affect members of all ages and backgrounds in the LGBT community.

"Proud to Run is a fun road race that brings together all orientations from across Chicago and beyond to help local charities doing important work in our city," said PTR organization member Justin Koziatek. "Showing our Pride in a way that promotes health and well-being is a good alternative to the other events that happen during the Pride weeks."

This year's Proud to Run race features new logos and t-shirts along with custom-made medals which will be given to the finalists of the race.

State Representatives Greg Harris and Kelly Cassidy will be present at the event. Both were instrumental in the passage of Illinois' marriage equality bill in Nov.

In 2013 there were more than 2,200 registrants who took part in the race.

"We are estimated to receive another couple hundred racers with 1800, with 200 volunteers," Brown said. "We have raised over $350,000 overall with these races, so we really appreciate the turnout of everyone getting involved with taking part in the race and volunteering."

The PTR organization is made up of a 15 member volunteer board, represented by Chicago's LGBT community running & walking club, "Frontrunners & Frontwalkers."

"Everyone involved on the board and committees volunteer their time and put their strengths and talents together to make this event bigger and better each year," Koziatek said. "It's hard not to feel proud to be a part of this."

Race information can be found at the Proud to Run website at