The first Proud to Run was organized by Peg Grey of the Gay Athletic Association, along with Rob Williams and Jim White. On June 20, 1982, 40 runners and walkers gathered at Foster Avenue Beach and set off on a 10K run and 1-mile walk that would evolve into an annual Pride Week event that welcomes thousands of participants and supporters, and has raised more than $600,000 for organizations that support the Chicagoland LGBTQ+ community.
Proud to Run was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2016, Proud to Run led the nation in creating a more inclusive race by implementing a non-binary gender category for participants to choose during registration.
The 36th Annual Proud To Run, in 2017, was the largest in the event’s history, hosting more than 2,000 participants and raising over $65,000 for the year’s beneficiaries.