Thousands cheer on runners at 27th annual High Heel Race - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Thousands cheer on runners at 27th annual High Heel Race

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WASHINGTON -

High heels, wigs and one fabulous race to the finish. Thousands of spectators lined 17th Street in Dupont Circle to cheer the runners on in the 27th annual High Heel Race in D.C.

An estimated 15,000 people were in the crowd.

Drag queen "Inertia" defended her title by crossing the finish line first again for the second year in a row.

The night’s event was nothing short of a spectacle, outrageous and even a bit dangerous.

“People have fallen, heels have broken, but they get back up, they smile and they keep on going,” said Inertia. “It’s totally worth it.”

Hundreds dressed in drag parade through this Dupont neighborhood. Then they raced down 17th Street for about a four-block stretch.

“It’s so much fun running it because you get to see the entire crowd, and the crowd is so enthusiastic and so into it,” said one high heel race participant. “I love it. It’s a quintessential D.C. thing.”

The high heel race is in its 27th year and held on the Tuesday before Halloween. The D.C. tradition has the backing of a number of city leaders, including Mayor Vincent Gray.

Gray made a major announcement honoring a supporter of the LGBT community who passed away on July 24.

“I’m going to do legislation to name the 1600 block of Church Street for Annie Kaylor, who was such a popular person here,” said Mayor Gray. “Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse was such a hit with people. It was one of the places that really was welcoming and open in the era when things weren’t so open.”

Annie's Paramount Steakhouse is known as an unofficial social club for the city's LGBT community.

The rededication of the block will now be called "Annie's Way."

“I think it’s important because it really shows how we’ve grown, not only as an LGBT community as a nation, but here in Washington D.C.,” said Inertia.

New to the race this year were electronic strips that monitored the runners like in a marathon. They are discreetly hidden inside garters.

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