By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Saturday, June 17, the 5th Annual OKC Equality Run – Shaun Kamiko Memorial will be held in Oklahoma City, sponsored by Freedom Oklahoma. This event kicks off Pride Week in Oklahoma City.
The 5K/10K events begin at 8 a.m. at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno followed by the 1 mile Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. All “non-late” entries are guaranteed a race t-shirt. All finishers in the USATF certified event will receive a race medal.
Registration fee for the 5KRun/Walk is $40, the 10K Run is $45, and the 1 Mile Walk/Fun Run is $15. The option to “Sleep In and Still Get a T-Shirt” is available for $25. After June 1, the 5K is $45 and the 10K is $50.)
“Folks just like you are signing up for this year’s 5th Annual Equality Run in record numbers, and we want to make sure you get signed up early and have time to form a team to run with you to raise much-needed funds for Freedom Oklahoma and Other Options,” said Troy Stevenson, Freedom Oklahoma executive director.
“We expect over 500 participants running and walking through the streets of downtown Oklahoma City, and as always it will be our most spectacular event of the year.”
Registration fees go up at the end of May, now is the time to register.
Registration is available through chronotrack online up to race day, or onsite at packet pick-up during the event.
“This year’s event will honor the memory of Shaun Kamiko, who lost a courageous battle with lymphoma in November of 2016,” said Mario Miller, Freedom Oklahoma board member and Equality Run Director. “Shaun was known to many in Oklahoma City as the iconic DJ Kamiko. He had a great passion and love for music, life, people, the LGBTQ community, and animals. Before becoming ill, Shaun’s favorite thing to do was run outdoors with his husband, Allan Hernandez.
“Their most memorable run together was the Equality Run, where they crossed the finish line hand in hand.” Miller added. “Freedom Oklahoma is committed to making this memory an eternal one for Shaun.”
New this year there is a peer to peer fundraising option. Start a new team or join an existing team. Choose the preferred option when registering and use the “Crowdrise” link to share the Equality Run on Social Media.
Every dollar raised goes directly towards public education to advance LGBTQ and Women’s Rights in Oklahoma. In addition, this year 5 percent of the peer to peer proceeds will go to Other Options, whose mission is to support care of those living with HIV and AIDS.
“Other Options was a cause near and dear to Shaun,” Miller said. “We are also open to sponsorship of all levels.
To become a sponsor, contact Troy Stevenson or Marlo Miller at 405-802-8229.
“All levels of sponsorship and participation will directly affect the continued fight for freedom and equality for all Oklahomans and are greatly appreciated,” said Miller. “This is how we win!
“The Equality Run has become one of our most popular and diverse events, it’s an amazing experience that is paired with our Pride Brunch as a celebration of the runner’s success.” said Miller.
Immediately following the run, the Pride Brunch will take place at Flint restaurant at the Colcord Hotel at 15 N. Robinson. Tickets are $35.
Brunch tickets can be purchased in advance online, or if available, the morning of the run. All donations are tax deductible.
“You don’t have to be a runner to take part this year, you can register for the 1 Mile Fun Run or Walk, and even bring the kids or dogs to take part,” Stevenson said. “You also have the option to stay at home and get the same shirt and medal of the morning’s festivities if running is not your thing. As an extra incentive to register early, we are offering $5 off the 5K or 10K registration this week by entering discount code: MAY”
For more information, visit freedomoklahoma.org.