Metro Weekly

Walk & 5K To End HIV Celebrates 30 Years

Whitman-Walker's annual Walk & 5K to End HIV celebrates three decades of activism with a retro theme

Whitman-Walker-Healths-Walk to End HIV -- Photo: Ward Morrison

Whitman-Walker-Healths-Walk to End HIV — Photo: Ward Morrison

Dig out your mismatched neon socks, your fishnet stockings and your best bedazzled clothing, because Whitman-Walker Health’s Walk & 5K to End HIV, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, is about to go back in time.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the annual fundraiser helps the local community health center continue its HIV prevention and treatment programs. In recognition of Whitman-Walker’s three decades of work on behalf of the wider D.C. community, participants are urged to dress up in their best attire from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. As they make their way along the course, they’ll encounter volunteers decked out in retro attire cheering them on towards the finish line, says Devin Barrington-Ward, communications director for Whitman-Walker Health. “It’s not required, but we’re encouraging folks to dress up in attire that links to the decade they have the most connection to,” he says.

A program featuring music, special guest speakers, including Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and warm-up exercises led by staff from VIDA Fitness will precede the race, which kicks off at 9:15 a.m. Coffee and light breakfast foods, donated by local restaurants, will be on offer.

Whitman-Walker is offering alternative ways that D.C. area residents can contribute apart from by walking or running. It previously partnered with local restaurants, who donated a portion of the proceeds from Nov. 6 sales to the clinic as part of its Brunch to End HIV, and will work out a similar arrangement with Chipotle Mexican Grill on the day of the race. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 12, for every customer who visits one of 19 Chipotle locations in the District and shows their official race bib or T-shirt, Chipotle will donate 50% of meal proceeds to Whitman-Walker. —John Riley

The Walk & 5K to End HIV is Saturday, Nov. 12, with registration and check-in beginning at 7 a.m. and the 5K starting at 9:15 a.m., followed by the walking contingent. The race starts at Freedom Plaza, near Pennsylvania Ave. and 13th St. NW. Visit walktoendhiv.org.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com