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Skepchicks Present: 5K Walk/Run for Choice

By Courtney Caldwell. Originally posted at Skepchick Events.

Marathons, 5k events, and other races in dedication to a particular cause aren’t uncommon. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society sponsors marathonners, there are a myriad of events such as Race for the Cure and Walk for Life. But what’s a Skepchick to do when her favorite running spot is overtaken by anti-choicers?

That was precisely the dilemma Moniqa Aylin faced when she found out an anti-choice group was hosting a “Life Walk and Run” at her favorite running course:

The September issue of a local running magazine ran a story promoting an anti-choice 5k happening next month on MY favorite running trail. I wouldn’t have even noticed if the event organizers had only taken out an ad, but the article appeared to endorse the event, and, coming from a journalism background, I was appalled to see it. Being staunchly pro-choice, I was deeply upset at the violation of my sacred (if you will) running space and also at my city’s hosting it.

At first Moniqa thought she’d show up at the event in a pro-choice t-shirt and run the 5k before the scheduled event, but when she came to the Skepchick Quickies running group on Facebook to vent, a new plan formulated:

After I complained to the Skepchick Quickies running group on Facebook, they suggested officially holding a counter-event. So now it’s a thing.

Never underestimate the collective rage of the Skepchicks! When I asked if this would be a recurring event, she played coy (“I sure hope so”), and when talking about her goals were for the race, it became clear that she has a lot of ambition:

Running alone was just a way to let off some steam about the anti-choice event, but planning for a group opens up opportunities to solicit donations for Planned Parenthood and the Texas Equal Access Fund and to get folks excited about activism. Since we have only a few weeks to get this one together, I’m looking at it as a test run (ha) to learn to coordinate a race and plan to get some sponsors next year and make it official—and BIG. I could only find one other pro-choice race in the nation, and it’s a cause worth raising donations for like any of the myriad other charities supported by race registrations.

Want more information? Never fear!

When and Where is the Event?

The event will be held Saturday, October 19th at the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve in Plano, TX. If you aren’t familiar with the area, here’s the address:

5901 Los Rios Blvd, Plano, TX 75074

How Can You Help? 

Even if you’re not in the area, you can run or walk a virtual 5k with the group in solidarity. You can donate to Planned Parenthood, your local women’s health centers, or the Texas Equal Access Fund. If you’re feeling really ambitious, organize a local event with your friends! If you’re local, invite everyone you can think of!

The team could also use volunteers for the following:

  1. Helping participants sign in
  2. Passing out water at the turn-around
  3. Taking pictures
  4. Making some noise in support of bodily autonomy!!

Moniqa will also be October 12 at the Life Walk and Run to protest, and if anybody would like to join her, she would love the company!

Where Can I Get Updates About The Event?

The team is working on a website, but for now just join us on the Facebook page!

We look forward to hopefully seeing you at the event! With our combined rage and determination, we can all help make this a successful event in support of women’s right to choose!

 Featured image by padsbrother

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer who just moved to a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband and two young kids. When not counting how often the words "pride," "liberty," and "freedom" are used in local business, road, and pet names, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and raising her two kids to be critical thinkers. She is the managing editor of Skepchick Events, a Grounded Parents admin, and a Skepchick contributor. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Google+

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