PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Running has always been a mental health outlet for Cain Leathers and he, with the help of some friends, turned that passion into a safe space for LGBTQ+ members.
Queer Run isn't even a year old and is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing LGBTQ+ running groups in Philadelphia.
"In athletics, I feel like inclusion is very difficult. It's hard to create a very inclusive space, no matter what space you're in," said Leathers, Founder and Executive Director of Queer Run.
But that's all changed. Queer Run started in April 2022 with about a dozen people on their very first run.
Now, droves of LGBTQ+ members and allies meet up, either in Center City or Manayunk, for the group's weekly evening runs.
Regardless of age and fitness level, all are welcome - and no one gets left behind.
For Leathers-- this is personal. Last year, he ran over 360 miles across the state in ten days to raise money for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that raises awareness about youth suicide.
"It helped me to step into this different kind of platform of advocacy and talk about the importance of mental health, and how running can help people overcome it," he said.
Queer Run is now working to become a nonprofit so that it can have a physical home for more programming and provide youth resources to LGBTQ teens.
This is a testament to how quickly the group has grown and the need for its outreach in the city.
For more information, visit: https://www.queerrun.com/