MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR
BLACK GIRLS RUN! ANN ARBOR
What makes Black Girls RUN! run? Our Black Girls RUN! Ambassadors. With more than 190 ambassadors across the country, these women are responsible for bringing BGR! awesomeness to cities across the country! Not only that, they inpsire women in their community to hit the pavement and rep BGR! every dang day! Want to know more about the ambassadors in your city? Welcome to our new “Meet Your Ambassadors” series! Each week we will feature ambassadors from our groups to help you learn a little more about who they are and why they are passionate about the work they do!
Denise Lagrace: I never would have thought that I would run anything more than 3 miles after I started running in January 2012. But after completing several 5Ks and 10Ks, my goal was to run a marathon before my 30th birthday! I did not take this training lightly and tried very hard not to miss my scheduled runs. I relied on the support for my BGR! ladies who motivated me to finish what I had started. I can now say that I am a marathoner and I'm training for my 2nd marathon in 2014!
How do you motivate the members on the page to get started?
I like to motivate members to "Begin with the end in mind!" which is a quote by Stephen R. Covey. Thus, I encourage members to set a goal for themselves. For some that may mean to run their first 5K or for others to set a PR for an upcoming half-marathon. Whatever the goal may be, the members are confident in knowing that we will there to support them on their journey and help them remain accountable.
Use one word to describe your BGR! City?
Best advice you would give to new runners?
I would encourage new runners to first learn about running by attending a FREE running clinic in their local area or visit a running store to see if there are any resources for beginners. I would also encourage new runners to invest in quality running shoes and gear to avoid injury. Finally, I would invite them to be active participants in our weekly runs to get motivation, tips and tricks from other runners.
How do you encourage advanced runners to get to the next level?
I encourage advance runners to get to the next level by paying it forward. This can be done by serving as a RUN! coordinator, mentoring other runners and even presenting at one of our running educational sessions. As advanced runners give back, their commitment to run and maintain a healthy lifestyle is further reinforced.
How did you feel the moment you left your first BGR! run?
I truly felt empowered, motivated and ultimately blessed to be around like-minded and strong ladies who were committed to living a healthy life.
What do you say to ladies right before a big race?
Besides taking lots of photos with my iPhone so I can upload them to Facebook, I simply say, "Let's do this!" I remind them that they've trained for this day and tell them to just have fun and enjoy the race!
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