Front Runners & Walkers Mark 30th Year with Party
Photos Courtesy of Front Runners and Walkers of Fort Lauderdale

Front Runners & Walkers Mark 30th Year with Party

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Submitted by Front Runners & Walkers Fort Lauderdale

Front Runners & Walkers Fort Lauderdale (FRWFL) is celebrating their 30th year in Broward County. To mark the occasion, they are hosting a free community celebration at the Stonewall Museum on Wilton Drive on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 from 7 to 9 PM. No RSVP is necessary to come enjoy wine, beer and hot hors d’oeuvres. Club memorabilia as well as video and photos will be displayed.

In 1974 Lavender U was formed in San Francisco to provide a setting for gays and lesbians to participate in track and field events especially running. That same year Patricia Neal Warren published The Front Runner, a groundbreaking novel about gay love in the sports world. In honor of this book Lavender U was renamed The San Francisco Front Runners. A signed, first edition of the book will be on display at the museum.

In 1989, a group of local runners decided to band together to train for the New York City Marathon. From this small beginning the local chapter has recently serged to 200 members. Asked about this growth, club president Eric Runyan, said, “People get into running for its simplicity, no special skills or equipment are required. But they stick with Front Runners and their goals because we are a welcoming community.” The group not only works out together, but also socializes as a group as well. They eat together at a casual restaurant following each run/walk. Monthly social events run the gamut from trampoline park to museum visit.

Photos Courtesy of Front Runners and Walkers of Fort Lauderdale

They welcome members of all abilities from runners who regularly place in competition to casual walkers who just want to stroll and chat with friends. The club offers both morning and evening workouts. Their evening run/walk meets near the football fields in Holiday Park, Sundays at 6PM and Wednesdays at 7PM. Their Saturday morning run starts at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors at 7:30AM. A 4 or 6 mile run and a 3 mile walk are offered at each meetup. For more serious competitors, special monthly supplemental trainings are planned. This training might entail track work, sprints along the beach or on a bridge since those qualify as hills in Florida. Each month the club designates a “team race,” which runners participate in together. Occasionally these races involve a club road-trip to Sarasota, Key West or another local destination. Some members have recently enjoyed training for sprint triathlons together. 

Along the way members are offered encouragement for sticking to it. The club’s program for Workouts, Incentives & Participation (WIP) rewards both monthly mileage/steps and involvement in races and volunteering for the club.

Those who want to try running should check out their annual free COUCH TO 5K training program which begins Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 6:45PM at Holiday Park. Trainees are coached by FRWFL members who take them from short jogging and walking intervals to participation in the Publix A1A 5K race. For more information on the program or the club visit www.FRWFL.org, call (954) 775-2311, or on social media.