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DC takes over 32nd high-heel race

WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps Marathon was last Sunday but let’s see those runners do it in heels, like those participating in the 32nd annual 17th Street High Heel race.

The race, which started in 1986, took place, as it always has on the Tuesday before Halloween. Costumed drag queens ran (or strutted) down 17th Street NW, to the cheers of hundreds of spectators lined along the street.

This year’s race is the first time that the D.C. government has organized it, and it was billed as “Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents the 32nd Annual 17th Street High Heel Race.”

Sheila Alexander-Reid, the director of the Mayor’s office of LGBTQ Affairs, told DCist that Bowser loves the race and is proud to represent it.

Bowser was the grand marshal last year of the parade that preceded the race.

The event’s origins are now the stuff of legend. On a Halloween night in the mid-80s, a friendly wager was made between two men in drag: Who could do a shot, run to another bar, do another shot and race back first?

Here are pictures from this year’s event.


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