Capital City Pride in Des Moines will join more than 30 other LGBTQ+ Pride organizations to host the National Pride Stride Virtual Run, a virtual 5K/10K event commemorating National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. 

Led by LA Pride in partnership with EnMotive, the National Pride Stride Virtual Run allows individuals to register, create a team, raise funds for local Pride organizations, and safely run or walk at their own pace without crowds or a time limit, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31. A portion of each participant’s Pride Stride registration fee will go to their local Pride 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to help sustain community work. 

That support comes at a critical time after Capital City Pride and other national organizations had to cancel fundraising opportunities and lost other potential sponsorships as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the organization to cancel events, said Capital City Pride president Jennifer Carruthers. 

“The COVID pandemic greatly impacted Pride celebrations around the world, and the heartland was not exempt. To ensure the safety of our community, all in-person Pride activities were canceled and replaced with virtual events. When possible, we masked-up in solidarity with our Black and brown brothers and sisters in support of the Black Lives Matter movement,” Carruthers said. “The health and safety of our community is our top priority, and Pride Stride is an opportunity for us to come together safely to celebrate.”

Capital City Pride, first organized 43 years ago in Central Iowa, hosts one of the fastest-growing Pride celebrations in the country during Pride Month in June, and began hosting year-round programming events three years ago, including Pride Book Club and the Pride Speaker Series. 

“We went in three years from 2,500 to over 30,000 [Pride attendees], and we expect to continue to grow,” Carruthers said. 

Kum & Go has committed to a $10,000 sponsorship for Capital City Pride’s 2021 Pride Fest, the organization also announced this week. 

Registration for the inaugural Pride Stride Virtual Run is $40 and available online.