GAYRUN '80 DRAWS 500
RUNNERS FROM TEN
by John Knoebel
San Francisco - Gayrun '80, the first gay-organized,
AAU-sanctioned footrace was held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on July 27, 1980. Five hundred runners
from 10 states, England and Canada competed for honors
in five- and ten-kilometer events. The event was blessed
with perfect San Francisco weather and was, by all runners' accounts, a huge success.
Gayrun '80 was sponsored by THE ADVOCATE, the Bay
Area-based national gay newsmagazine, and Frontrunners,
San Francisco's gay running club. The race was the first
gay-organized running event sanctioned by the Amateur
Athletic Union (AAU). It was open to everyone and attracted runners from age 15 to 63. About one-quarter of
the runners were women.
First place honors in the Men's Open Division (age
20-39) were taken by Russell Knudsen in the 10-kilometer
race and John Morrissey in the 5-kilareter race. Firsts
in the Women's Open were won by Janice Wambaugh in the
10-kilometer and Marylyn Galastis in the 5-kilometer.
Malcolm Robinson, president of the New York City chapter
of Frontrunners, took top honors in the Men's 40 and
Over Division in the 10-kilometer race.
Proceeds from Gayrun '80 were donated to the Golden
Gate Park Maintenance Fund, a non-profit group. Staffing for the race was provided by a group of 70 volunteers
from THE ADVOCATE and Frontrunners. First aid stations
were provided by the Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights,
San Francisco's two-year old organization of gay doctors.
Calistoga Mineral Water Company donated bottled water.
Gayrun '80 was conceived by ADVOCATE publisher
Peter Frisch and associate editor Scott Anderson, both
active runners and members of Frontrunners. Scott Anderson was the Race Director. Said Frisch, "Seeing 500
mostly gay ™2h and women set off on a footrace was a
new kind of high for me. It shattered yet another myth
about who gay people are. I'm proud to have been a
part of Gayrun '80 and look forward to many races in
other cities where gay people will have the opportunity
to compete and have fun."
Scott Anderson had the following comment: "Our .
attempt in Gayrun '80 was to provide another way for
gay people to express and feel good about themselves.
The real excitement for me was not only the number of
gay people who told me that this was their first race
PICKLE VOTES FOR
J.J. (Jake) Pickle, United States Representative
from Austin, District 10, voted to include an amendment inspired by the right-wing fundamentalist lobby
"Christian Voice" in an important appropriation bill.
IHE DALLAS TIMES HERALD of Sunday, July 27, 1980,
reported that Jake Pickle was one of the U.S. Representatives from Texas who voted for an amendment to HR
7584 "to prevent the Legal Services Corporation from
promoting, defending or protecting homosexuality."
The Legal Services Corporation is a quasi-governmental agency, like the United States Postal Service.
Its purpose is to "provide legal defense and counsel
to those to whom it would not be otherwise available."
Christian Voice and other anti-human rights lobbies in Washington have been planning anti-gay amendments for a long time, according to Steve Endean of the
Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL). In a GRNL Legislative Alert mailed late in May, Endean warned, "These
bills will be dealt with on the floor of Congress in
a week or two. It is likely they will pass, due to
the current conservative political climate."
Endean speculated that the Legal Services Corporation Act would be a likely vehicle. A similar bill
had been amended by Congressman Larry McDonald in 1977.
That amendment passed by a vote of 230-133, but failed
to come up in the Senate and was subsequently dropped
in conference committee. Endean cautioned, "That was
before the creation of Christian Voice, Moral Majority,
Americans Against HR 2074 (the gay civil rights bill),
and the American Family Institute. We can't expect
such luck this year."
The GRNL Legislative Alert requested that readers
send a mailgram to their Congressional Representative
urging opposition to any such amendment. One mail-
gram and Representative Pickle's response is on page 4.
and they loved it, but also the wide representation of
women and niinorities, young and old, gay men and lesbians as well as straight runners. I was really pleased
with how well the race was managed and by all the support we got from the non-gay running community. I am
sure that next year's Gayrun '81 will be even better."