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DC Front Runners Pride 5K returns with focus on philanthropy

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www.washingtonblade.com

One of D.C.’s most popular Pride season traditions is back, as the DC Front Runners Pride 5K prepares to kick off on Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m.

at Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.). Registration ends June 9 at 12 p.m. “Our race starts and ends at the area colloquially known as ‘gay corner.’ It’s where Leonard Matlovich, an American Vietnam War veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal is buried,” Joshua Yankovic, race director for DC Front Runners Pride 5K, said in an email.

The epitaph on Matlovich’s tombstone reads, “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” For Yankovich, it is a reminder of how far the LGBTQ community has come in its fight for equal rights despite the anti-trans and homophobic rhetoric percolating across the U.S.  “We realize we have a lot more fight to go for true acceptance in the land of the ‘free,’ which is why Pride month and this race are so important,” he added. “It gives us a chance to be in a safe space and have a fabulous time doing it.” Yankovic, who became race director in 2022, has close ties to the race not only as an avid runner with close friends who are all a part of D.C.’s LGBTQ running community, but also as a firm believer in supporting local LGBTQ organizations focused on youths in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area.

Each year, DC Front Runners Pride 5K raises and donates tens of thousands of dollars to local charities from both the race and donations to its website.

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