INSPIRING STORIES

Black Girls RUN!

INSPIRING STORIES

Black Girls RUN!

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From one to seventy-three

“It all started in 2011. Ashley and I decided we both wanted to run a half marathon. We chose Publix Half Marathon in Atlanta. We posted on our blog (Black Girls Run!) that we were doing this, and invited our blog followers to come. The night before, we organized a meet-up at a downtown restaurant. We didn’t think anything would come of it. We were literally walking around the pre-race expo, asking any black woman we saw if she’s part of BGR!.

We got to the restaurant for the meet up, and 15-20 ladies showed up, from all over. They flew in to run with us. Everyone was super excited, there was great energy. Most of the women had the same stories of never seeing another black woman out there. It affirmed all of us. The conversation naturally led to people wishing they had a BGR! group in their city.

From that point to now has all been a blur. We went from one group to 73 real quick.” —Toni Carey, Co-Founder of Black Girls RUN!

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Title : From one to seventy-three
Body : “It all started in 2011. Ashley and I decided we both wanted to run a half marathon. We chose Publix Half Marathon in Atlanta. We posted on our blog (Black Girls Run!) that we were doing this, and invited our blog followers to come. The night before, we organized a meet-up at a downtown restaurant. We didn’t think anything would come of it. We were literally walking around the pre-race expo, asking any black woman we saw if she’s part of BGR!. We got to the restaurant for the meet up, and 15-20 ladies showed up, from all over. They flew in to run with us. Everyone was super excited, there was great energy. Most of the women had the same stories of never seeing another black woman out there. It affirmed all of us. The conversation naturally led to people wishing they had a BGR! group in their city. From that point to now has all been a blur. We went from one group to 73 real quick.” —Toni Carey, Co-Founder of Black Girls RUN!
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Header : Toni Carey, Co-founder
Body : “The reasons why I started to run were a perfect storm of needing something to keep myself occupied and also really wanting to change my lifestyle to being healthier and feel happier. When I started running in 2007, I’d just moved to New Jersey from Nashville after I graduated from college, and also my boyfriend and I had broken up. So running became a distraction that helped me navigate the transition. “At my first race, the Newport News 10K in 2009, I remember standing in a corral with a frightened expression. As I looked around, I noticed there weren’t any other black women. I felt isolated. ‘Should I really be doing this?’”
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Header : Ashley Hicks, Co-founder
Body : Ashley, Toni’s college sorority sister, is a runner and also her inspiration. They both have histories of diabetes and high blood pressure in their families–chronic illnesses that are common in African American communities. They both ran separately in their respective cities, and as they continued to do it and feel better, they questioned what if more black people started running, would obesity statistics decline? Toni and Ashley launched a blog about their running experiences with hope that maybe they could convince people that running is cool and that they should try it. Toni and Ashley wrote about everything, from running apparel to experimenting with being vegan and vegetarian.

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Body : Find more stories about how running changes lives on our Inspiring Stories Hub.
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