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Workout Wednesday: LA Frontrunners

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The marathon may be #27 on the list of Stuff White People Like, but it is by no means their exclusive domain. There are many specialized running groups out there that point out the growing diversity of running enthusiasts. One such group is the Los Angeles Frontrunners, which will be hosting its 27th annual Pride Run on Sunday, June 8 in West Hollywood as part of Pride Weekend. The Pride Run this year benefits the Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing. Do the run and stay for the parade!

Frontrunners is a running/walking club for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their friends and supporters. The group welcomes runners/walkers of all abilities and ages and hosts a few Fun Runs weekly throughout L.A. The Fun Runs more than live up to their name. For a while I attended the Wednesday evening run in Santa Monica, which is an ideal place to run on a hot summer night. During the summer the group hosts monthly potlucks after the run. It’s probably no surprise that the food is often above and beyond standard potluck fare. A larger group meets on Saturday mornings at Griffith Park. You can opt to do a shorter run or you can join a group for a rigorous, hilly six mile run. A few weeks ago I joined Frontrunners for a run and I foolishly opted to run a course the other runners referred to as “7 Hills.” 7 turned out to be closer to 9 or 10 and I just about crapped my shorts as I struggled to keep up with the incredibly fit and gregarious runners. Schedule and location information for the Fun Runs can be found at the club’s website.

Apart from the Fun Runs, Frontrunners organizes other events. Their Grand Prix series is designed to encourage members to participate in local runs as they earn points for performances in races throughout the year. The group also hosts several social events. Check the calendar for upcoming events. For anyone in the GLBT community looking to enjoy the outdoors and a little exercise, or just simply wants more than what is offered by the WeHo scene, definitely check out Frontrunners. A group of friendlier and welcoming men and women cannot be found anywhere else.

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Membership is $25 per year for singles and $35 for couples living in the same address. Frontrunners offers a discounted membership for $15 to students and those with a limited income. Members receive a monthly newsletter.

The Pride Run is open to all, not just members of Frontrunners. You can choose to do a 5K, a 10K, or--for the first time ever--an "Ultra Pride Run" (5K and 10K combined). The race starts at 7:45 AM on Roberston right next to the Abbey and turns on Santa Monica Boulevard. Runners can try to record personal bests, or they can enjoy the experience of running down the middle of Santa Monica. It's not a crowded race but it is still quite competitive. The winning time last year for the 5K was 16:01, and 34:18 was good enough for the win for the 10K. For race registration information, check out the website.

Overall Workout: Running--it's as good a workout as you can get. For anyone who hates or gets bored doing aerobic workouts at the gym, Frontrunners can help ease the pain. You can make the run as hard or easy as you want. There are runners of different abilities.

Hobby-Developing Potential: Medium. Running isn't for everyone, but if you already enjoy it somewhat, you'll enjoy it even more running with a group like Frontrunners. If you hate running, then you might hate it less.

Next Day Pain: It depends on how hard you want to push it. I run regularly but after running the "7 Hills" course at Griffith Park with the group, I was quite sore the rest of the day.

The Pride Run course is mostly flat but does have a gradual incline as you run east on Santa Monica. However, you make it up going downhill when you turn around. It all evens out. The 5K is one lap, the 10K two.

Cost: Membership: $25 for singles; $35 for couples living in the same address; $15 for students and limited income.

Pride Run: $25 for 5K or 10K; $30 for the Ultra Pride Run (5K and 10K).

L.A. Frontrunners
2870 Los Feliz Pl
PMB #229
Los Angeles, CA 90039

L.A. Frontrunners logo from the group's website.