Patricia Nell Warren has been honored with a life membership to International Front Runners, an organization whose founding and growth was based on Warren’s 1974 hit novel “The Front Runner.” The honor will be bestowed on Warren at the Palm Springs Pride Run and Walk 5K on Nov. 3.
“I feel greatly honored with this lifetime membership,” Warren told Outsports. “For many years now, it’s been amazing and heartening to watch the explosion of running and walking groups around the world that were inspired by my novel. I support them 100 percent.”
Front Runners organizers felt it was important to honor Warren not just because she gave the organization its name, but also “to thank her for her many years of support of and friendship with Front Runners and also her lifetime of service to our community in helping to spread the message of inclusion,” according to longtime Front Runners stalwart Richard Ervais.
International Front Runners has dozens of chapters around the world.
Warren is the first person to receive the honor of life member.
“As our first recipient Patricia represents an immense amount of important characteristics to all our members - young and old - and we are incredibly lucky to have her as our number one Life Member,” said Wayne Morgan, International Front Runners delegate to the Gay Games.
Warren’s 1974 novel was a revelation, becoming the first work of gay fiction to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. It featured the story of a running coach and his top protege. As the two of them fall in love, they take aim at a run at the Olympics. It’s a powerfully emotional story that still resonates today. In 2011 Outsports named the publication of “The Front Runner” one of the five most important moments in LGBTQ sports history.
If you are interested in registering for the Palm Springs Pride Run and Walk 5K on Nov. 3, you can find more information at palmspringspriderun.com.