Sexy Schoolgirl 5k race cancelled following outcry

From staff reportsJune 26, 2014 

— Organizers of the controversial Sexy Schoolgirl 5k race announced Thursday that they’ve cancelled the event in the wake of “community controversy.”

The Hillsborough Street race – which invited runners to “show off their inner schoolgirl and nerd sides” in a 5k and pub crawl – was first approved by the Raleigh City Council in March, but it was labeled “Runnin Dirty 5k” on the agenda.

Paula O’Neal, a former Raleigh police captain who organizes other local races, told the council she questions “the message that is being sent and endorsed by the City of Raleigh due to the increasing problem of rape and violence against girls in the schools and on college campuses.”

Others took to social media to criticize the event as inappropriate. And Hillsborough Street businesses were upset the city had added a new event to already frequent street closures.

On Thursday – two days after the debate appeared in The News & Observer – Sexy Schoolgirl organizers told city officials they’ll pull out of Raleigh. “Community controversy, a lack of early sign-ups and inadequate organization were noted as reasons why the event was canceled,” assistant city manager Dan Howe wrote to city council members.

Council members Bonner Gaylord and Mary-Ann Baldwin trumpeted the news on their Twitter pages Thursday morning, with Gaylord adding “congratulations Raleigh.”

Maryland-based Sexy Schoolgirl also holds the race in Pittsburgh, Tampa and Virginia Beach, Va.

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