Each edition of the Gay Games is associated with an International Rainbow Memorial Run. Associated events pay tribute to the memory of artist Keith Haring, lesbian activist Rikki Streicher and Dr. Tom Waddell, the Founder of the Gay Games, and to all members of the Gay Games family lost, and in particular to AIDS and breast cancer.
As part of the IRMR, runs are held in past Gay Games host cities, usually starting with San Francisco, and leading to a final run in the current host city on opening day of the Games.
Hundreds of people in many cities take part, with the largest numbers found on opening day, with with countless people running, walking and biking on a route chosen for its memorial impact.
We could not speak of the IRMR without mentioning the tireless efforts of Brent Nicholson Earle who ensures that this event, along with the memorial quilt exhibition, takes place at each Gay Games.
The run is organized and sponsored by:
- American Run for the End of AIDS (AREA)
- Federation of Gay Games
- The Keith Haring Foundation (Keith Haring has been an honoree of the Rainbow Run since its first incarnation in 1990. The past six arrivals of the Rainbow Flag to the Gay Games have been sponsored by the Keith Haring Foundation, which has also granted permission to incorporate Keith’s “little runner” into the design of The Rainbow Run every four years.)
- NAMES Project Foundation
- Gay Games host
- and the Front Runners clubs in host cities.