Post submitted by Coach Rick Weber, Athletes for Equality

Running might seem like a solitary, individual activity. But in my years as both a runner and a coach, I have found that running is very much a community effort.

The process of training for and running a race, whether you're an experienced runner or a beginner, requires the help and support of friends and family. Runners’ accomplishments, big or small, rest on the shoulders of those who support them. Running requires the planning, dedication and sacrifice of the runner as well as their loved ones – all working together to achieve a common goal.

That's why I'm excited to be a new coach for HRC's Athletes for Equality, which brings that sense of dedication and community that I've experienced as a runner to the fight for marriage equality and LGBT rights. And I'm inviting you to join us.

Whether you're an experienced runner, who's training for your next marathon, or a casual weekend runner, or someone who's only thought about running – we want you.

Now what does running have to do with LGBT rights? You might ask. Plenty, I would say.

Athletes for Equality is dedicated to expanding awareness and visibility to the issues and challenges facing the LGBT community by drawing on the sense of community, dedication, hard work and fun that is part of being a runner.

As I mentioned earlier, I've been a runner and a coach for nearly 20 years, and in that time I've worked with hundreds of runners, mostly first-time marathoners, to help them achieve their goals. I've seen people overcome self-doubt and insecurities to achieve what they only dreamed might be possible: running their first 5, 10 or 26.2-mile race.

Achieving that kind of goal requires a vision of what tomorrow could be, a persistence to overcome obstacles and a focus on incremental progress that allows you to mark significant milestones along the way to achieving your ultimate objective. All of these qualities are as relevant to the fight for LGBT rights as they are to running.

So join the race toward equality by joining or supporting Athletes for Equality. And I'll see you out on the running trails.

To join the Human Rights Campaign’s Marine Corps Marathon team, visit

Filed under: Athletes for Equality

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