Who are we?
Front Runners New York (FRNY) is New York City’s LGBT running club. The club was founded in 1979 and has grown to over 700 members annually. FRNY’s mission to provide encouragement and support to LGBT adults and their supporters who are interested in running and running related activities. FRNY has created a social running community focused on health and fitness that is welcoming to all New Yorkers. FRNY offers a robust, inclusive membership experience.
The club is affiliated with New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the International Front Runners organizations and is a member club of Road Runners Club of America.
FRNY is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, incorporated in the state of New York overseen by an annually elected Board of Directors that is elected annually.
FRNY Activities & Events
Cross-country meet (USATF sanctioned)
Tuesday, Thursday: Prospect Park; Wednesday, Saturday: Central Park
Social runs of 3 - 6 miles
LGBT Pride Run® (USATF sanctioned)
Indoor track meet (USATF sanctioned)
Saturday: Central Park
Member Activities, Events, Benefits
Track, speed, hill training; customized training schedules
Sunday: Group runs of 10 - 20 miles, routes throughout NYC area
Running, swimming, cycling
NYC Marathon Activities
Training schedules, supported blue-line run, pasta dinner, pancake breakfast, Mile 24 hydration station volunteer & cheer section
NYRR Points races participation, Post-race social events, Local club race participation, access to selected sold-out NYRR races
Training, race registration
Volunteering & Community service
Front Runners New York History
Front Runners New York was founded October 1979 by Malcolm Robinson and named for Patricia Nell Warren's novel The Front Runner, published in 1974.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the club was in its infancy, with a roster of only 35 members the first year. Malcolm Robinson's and Steve Gerben's leadership stabilized and built the Club’s membership to more than 400 by 1985. FRNY members Harold Brueland and David Pitches were the first Front Runners members to race for team FRNY at the New York City Marathon in 1977. Guy Zelenak and the early Club boards kept very good records, and photos of club members and other materials from that time are now part of the FRNY archives. During the early years, the LGBT community recognized the Club's members as runners first, and members of the LGBT community second.
From the late 1980s to the 1990s, the HIV/AIDS epidemic greatly affected the Club's members. Past FRNY presidents, board members, runners, and walkers were all affected. Despite that fact, FRNY members still competed at the first two Gay Games in 1982 and 1986 in San Francisco. The Club also continued to be the only running club in New York City to host its own road race in Central Park ⏤ the annual LGBT Pride Run®, started in 1984 ⏤ and the only running club to volunteer at a water station (mile 24) in the New York City Marathon.
Even with the addition of new events, committees, expanded membership, the Club still cherishes and continues these annual traditions ⏤ LGBT Pride Run®, mile 24 water station ⏤ that commenced over 25 years ago.
Want to learn more about FRNY? Explore our archives.
Meet your Front Runners
2019 Board of Directors
Erick Tatro is the president of Front Runners New York. He previously served as a member of the Pride Run committee and chair of Social Committee. Erick joined FRNY in 2017 and quickly became involved in the club’s volunteer and organizing opportunities. His first 26.2 mile race was the Orange County Marathon during his last year of grad school — citing training runs as how to stay sane while writing a dissertation. He has run 4 additional marathons since then, including his favorite, NYC. Erick moved to NYC from San Diego, where he was a psychiatry researcher and volunteered for the American Heart Association as a coach in a training program for readying folks for a half marathon race. He loves dogs and everything outdoors.
Trey Bedingfield is the Men's Vice-President of the 2019 Board. He has been a member of Front Runners New York since 2015. In addition to joining the Board, he is a part of the coaching committee and is co-planning the 2019 Front Runners New York Indoor Track Meet. Since joining, the club has become an integral part of his training for many races, including major milestone events like the 2017 New York City Marathon and the 2018 Gay Games in Paris. Trey grew up in Florida and moved New York City in 2011. Outside of FRNY, he works in institutional archives and is currently pursuing a master’s in Library Science.
I have been a member of FRNY since October 2015. In that time, I have been passionate about being involved, not only in racing, but in club activities and volunteer opportunities. I am honoured to accept this appointment to Director at Large for the remainder of 2017, and will serve my duties in the best interest of the club and its members
Patrick Hart is the Secretary of the 2019 FRNY Board. He has been an FRNY member since January 2015, and is constantly thankful for the positive difference FRNY has made in his life since he joined the club. During his time as a Front Runner, Patrick has been a Race Captain (including one year as lead Race Captain), member of the Brooklyn Committee, member of the History and Archives Committee, and volunteer at numerous events from the pasta dinner to the Brooklyn Pride Run and everything in between. In addition to racing many NYC races with Front Runners New York, he's also joined the club during out-of-town excursions from Peekskill to Pennsylvania to Paris. One of his favorite times of the week is the FRNY Tuesday night fun run in Prospect Park, followed by a camaraderie-filled runner dinner. Patrick works at CUNY in antipoverty program oversight and lives in Brooklyn with his husband Scott. He is psyched to serve on the Board and provide support to all the great work of FRNY in 2019!
Jason has been a proud member of Front Runners New York since 2011. Before FRNY, the farthest he had run was 7 miles. Since joining he has finished 12 marathons and two triathlons, competed at Gay Games 9 and 10, won four participation awards, and met some of his closest friends. Prior to stepping up to the board as Treasurer in 2017, he served as Pride Run Race Director from 2013-2016 as well as a member of the Membership committee since 2012.
Director At Large
Faith has been a member of Front Runners for more than 10 years and in that time has completed 5 marathons, many half marathons and innumerable other races wearing FRNY colours. She has handed out many cups of water at the FRNY water stations at both the NYC Half and full Marathons. A winner of the FRNY female track athlete of the year in 2015, Faith is now enjoying running at a more stately pace these days, but happy to continue representing the club.
Director At Large
Mel Comerchero has been a member of Front Runners New York since 2018 and, prior to that, a member from 2006-2010. Mel serves on the membership committee and her involvement in fun runs, races, and multisport events with the club has been an important part of her life outside of work and family. Mel has a passion for athletics, as well as organizational leadership, and she is excited and honored to serve FRNY as a member of the Board. Mel lives with her three children in New Jersey and works in math education and school leadership at a graduate school in New York City.