By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The fourth annual Equality Run 5K/10K/1-Mile will be at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 26, at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno, in downtown Oklahoma City. Partnering again with OKC Pride, the event takes place during the final weekend of Oklahoma City’s Pride Week, June 20-26.
“The Equality Run is one of Freedom Oklahoma’s most exciting events of the year,” said Troy Stevenson, Freedom Oklahoma director. “Hundreds of runners from around the region join together to support dignity, freedom, and inclusion in Oklahoma.”
The event benefits Freedom Oklahoma, a statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization.
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.
This year’s run, chaired by local Orthodontist Marlo Miller D.D.S., M.S., will start at the Myriad Botanical Gardens and continues through downtown OKC and along the Oklahoma river trail.
“I am excited to help organize again for this event,” Miller said. “Most importantly, all the proceeds go to a worthy cause promoting diversity, equality, acceptance, peace, fun and wellness.”
Registration for the 5K Run/Walk is $40, the 10K Run fee is $45 and the 1 Mile Walk/Fun Run is $20.
The Equality Run includes USATF sanctioning and certified 5K and 10K runs, as well as a family friendly 1-mile fun run for all ages.
Because of sponsorship support, each dollar from every race entry will help Freedom Oklahoma advance equality for all Oklahomans.
Individuals or teams of runners, walkers, wheelers and spectators are welcome to participate. Pets on leashes are allowed and encouraged.
This year the Oklahoma Legislature received national attention as they introduced 25 anti-LGBT bills. Freedom Oklahoma was instrumental in ensuring all 25 of these bills were defeated.
“The Equality Run will be more than a recognition of LGBT pride,” Stevenson said. ”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, family friendly event.It will be a great day.” he added.
The Equality Run, professionally timed by DG Productions, includes USATF sanctioned and certified 5K and 10K runs, and a family friendly 1-mile fun run for all ages. The 1-mile run will not be timed.
“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 said.
All finishers will receive a commemorative race medal.
A post-race brunch will be held on the Flint patio of the Colcord Hotel, 15 N. Robinson Avenue, following the run. Smoothie and omelet stations will be available, along with coffee, tea, juices, and a cash bar. Brunch tickets are $19 and will be available for purchase at the end of registration. Tickets are limited.
The Equality Run is for everyone regardless of abilities, race, national origin, color, age, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation.
To register, volunteer, or learn more, visit www.FreedomOklahoma.org.