By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The third annual Equality Run 5K/10K/1-Mile will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. June 20, along the Oklahoma River at Wiley Post Park. 2021 S. Robinson Avenue, just south of Downtown OKC.
The event benefits Freedom Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization. State Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) will serve as the Grand Marshall for the run.
Freedom Oklahoma resulted from the merger of The Equality Network, a 501 (c) (4) organization that lobbies for pro-equality legislation and public policies; and the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization that engaged in public education in support of the LGBT community.
The 5K run fee is $40, the 10K run is $45 and the 1-Mile is $20 before June 11. Participants can register at FreedomOklahoma.org or by finding the official event on Facebook.
Because of sponsorship support, each dollar from every race entry will help Freedom Oklahoma advance equality for all Oklahomans.
The Equality Run is a kickoff to Oklahoma City’s official “Pride Weekend.”
Individuals or teams of runners, walkers, wheelers and spectators are welcome to participate. Pets on leashes are allowed and encouraged.
Equality Run Co-Director Joshua Sauer said, “With record numbers of discriminatory legislation being introduced against women, people of color, the LGBT community, and other groups – people are fired-up and ready to race.”
Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Legislature received national attention as they introduced 18 anti-LGBT bills. Freedom Oklahoma was instrumental in ensuring all 18 of these bills were defeated.
Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson said, “The Equality Run will be more than a recognition of LGBT pride, it will truly be a celebration of an amazing year for Freedom Oklahoma, and every Oklahoman who believes freedom means freedom for everyone.
“Our volunteers and sponsors have put a tremendous amount of effort into creating a community led and family friendly event; it will be a great day.” he added.
The Equality Run is for everyone regardless of abilities, race, national origin, color, age, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation. This USATF sanctioned event is professionally timed by DG Productions. The 1 Mile event will not be timed.
The 2015 Equality Run is presented by Orthodontist Marlo A. Miller D.D.S., M.S.
“I am excited to help organize and be the presenting sponsor again for this event,” Miller said. “Most importantly, all the proceeds go to a worthy cause promoting diversity, equality, acceptance, peace, fun and wellness.”
Event sponsors include Marty Coltrane, Entrust Realty; Mark Henricksen, The Henricksen Law Office; Joe E. Poe, The Gayly Newspaper; Printing Products Inc.; Dorothy E. Heim, Attorney at Law; Susan Penney, Penney Wise Wealth Advisors, LLC; Curt Stamp; Jim Roth; A New Energy; Frederick Redwine; and Allyson Coffey Insurance.
“Your participation in the 2015 Equality Run will enable you to be an agent of change. Change for today and change for generations to come,” Stevenson added.
Packet Pickup will be on Friday, June 19, from noon – 6 p.m. at the Equality Center – 5613 N May Avenue, #400.
Online registration will close on Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m. Packets and registration will also be available on race day starting at 7 a.m. until 8:15 a.m.
All finishers will receive a commemorative race medal. Official results will be kept for USATF approved age groups.
Following the Equality Run, the Equality Splash fundraiser will take place at the home of Marty Coltrane from noon – 4 p.m. to benefit Freedom Oklahoma.
Each ticket is $100 and includes an afternoon of food, open bar, and music Guests must be 21 or older. Splash tickets are non-refundable donations to Freedom Oklahoma.