Pride Month is upon us, and Brooks Running and International Front Runners are already sprinting into June full force. To celebrate Pride and LGBTQ runners around the world, the Brooks Running has launched their limited-edition Brooks Run Proud collection. Brooks Running is partnering with LGBTQ running organization Front Runners to support local LGBTQ running clubs beyond Pride Month and through 2020.
The running gear company, whose goal is to “make each run better than the last,” is taking that commitment seriously this Pride: in addition to their Run Proud collection, Brooks has pledged donations to local Front Runners clubs around the world. With 112 Front Runners clubs globally, it's one of the oldest LGBTQ athletic organizations in the world, according to a press release about the launch sent to Bustle. This partnership is aimed at inviting even more runners into a welcoming and inclusive fold.
With Pacesetter Tees ($34) and Pacesetter Tanks ($30), runners can be sure to look their proudest. Complete with Pacesetter Heritage Run Caps ($24) and Pacesetter Knit-in Crews ($16), LGBTQ+ runners can be out and proud while running, literally from head to toe. Brooks will be also announcing donations to some of the Front Runners clubs across the globe throughout the rest of this year and through 2020, according to a press release sent to Bustle about the partnership. These donations will start this month in Seattle, Washington, where Brooks is headquartered.
Danny Luong, president of International Front Runners (IFR), tells Bustle that IFR is excited about this partnership. "Brooks is incredibly inclusive, and their mission and values are so in line with what we need more of in the world. Their whole thing is run happy." Which is exactly what Front Runners helps LGBTQ runners accomplish.
Brooks Running also emphasized the importance of running as an inclusive, empowering sport. "We’re thrilled to be working with International Front Runners to promote inclusion and community through running," Melanie Allen, Brooks Running SVP and CMO, tells Bustle via email. "Front Runners has spent the past four decades building bridges for the LGBTQ+ running community, and their work has paved the way for thousands to experience running."
Katie Carlson, Brooks VP of HR, tells Bustle, “We believe running is for all and historically the sport of running has not always accepted everyone equally.” This partnership, as well as the Run Proud Collection, is meant to continue efforts to rectify that lack of acceptance. By reaching as many clubs as possible, Brooks and Front Runners aren’t only encouraging running: they’re creating important LGBTQ community space.
Indeed, for Luong, Front Runners and this partnership with Brooks isn’t just about running. "Front Runners are really pillars of community," Luong tells Bustle. "It's a running club, sure, but it's also a social club too. It's family and it provides this wonderful alternative for LGBTQ people to meet. ... There's something really human about seeing someone that you really admire or might be infatuated with sweating after six miles or covered in mud. But you're your authentic self.
So you might be in it for the post-run coffee socializing, or you might be sprinting into the 10k slogs over the river and through the woods. Whatever your running experience, Brooks Running and Front Runners are partnering to make sure you always feel your best, and your proudest. Because running with a safe, affirmative athletic community near you is a great way to celebrate Pride.