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On Monday June 6, the first Monday of Pride Month, Nikki Hiltz announced that the Pride 5K they’ve organized since 2020 will be held on October 2. They also announced that for the first time, the race will have an in-person component in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Hiltz announced in March that they were moving to Flagstaff after living in San Diego for over three years. With the move, the 1500-meter specialist began working with a new coach, Mike Smith, and new training partners, Rachel Schneider and Elly Henes.
Since starting the virtual run in 2020, the intention of the event has been to raise money for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crises intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. On Instagram, Hiltz recounted how ‘younger Nikki’ wanted to keep secret their crushes on girls or how they didn’t feel they fit into the category of ‘girl’ themselves.
“Pride to me will always be about how proud I am for how far I’ve come,” they wrote. “I will always be so grateful for the representation Pride offers and the countless amounts of queer people I was able to see living as their full selves as I was navigating my own coming out journey.”
This May, The Trevor Project released the findings of its 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. It found that 45 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Youth of color reported higher rates of suicide attempts than their white peers. And 60 percent of youth who wanted mental health care were not able to get it.
“The Trevor Project’s research demonstrates that suicidal thoughts have trended upward among LGBTQ young people over the last three years, making our life-saving work all the more important. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and relentless political attacks during this time period cannot be understated,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project.
The usually sold-out Pride 5K is an opportunity to raise money for The Trevor Project’s life-saving services, and also give visibility and hope to the LGBTQ community and their allies. To date, over $75,000 have been raised through the Pride 5K, Hiltz told Women’s Running.
Registration for the in-person and virtual races have yet to open, but Hiltz promises it is coming soon.