In 2011, we hosted our first race meet-up in Atlanta with ladies flying in from all of the country to run the then, Georgia Publix Marathon, and to meet the faces behind Black Girls RUN! We were shocked and stunned as we sat looking around the table listening to these women from various backgrounds and running abilities, share their passion for running and the need for community and dialogue around black women’s health and the lack of minorities in the running industry. Honestly, if it weren’t for those brave souls taking a chance and accepting our invite to run a half-marathon with us, we wouldn’t be the organization we are today.
Since then, our race meetups have been one of the pillars of the Black Girls RUN! experience. It’s an opportunity to meet women from around the country who share the same excitement and love for BGR!, while accomplishing whatever distance or beating whatever time they have trained for for weeks. It’s a time where we can rally around each other and celebrate one another as we are all on a journey to become a better version of ourselves through running.
For years we partnered with running events and race directors to carefully choose racing events and locations that would welcome our BGR! members with open arms, only working with organizations that truly believed in our mission and vision and understood the greater impact that our organization was making, not only in the African-American community, but how it was transforming the running industry as a whole. We developed healthy partnerships that were a win/win for both organizations. For them, they would increase their race numbers on race day with the ability to align themselves with our brand and market directly to our members. For us, we would receive partnership and/or marketing dollars to help us financially grow the organization.
However, over the past several years, we have seen a tremendous shift in his model - unfortunately for the worst. There are numerous event directors and race organizations that we no longer work with simply because they refuse to support our organization from a national level -- deciding it’s in their best interest (and more cost effective) to approach our groups, members and ambassadors directly and offer them discounts, perks, and sometimes money to market their event to our local groups. While this may seem harmless, it has caused severe financial implications to our organization and has ultimately threatened the sustainability of Black Girls RUN!.
When this happens, we are unable to approach these organizations to develop a partnership because they already have the groups, members, and ambassadors promoting their event….for practically free, instead of paying Black Girls RUN! marketing dollars nationally. Simply put, these organizations are using Black Girls RUN! for its benefit without contributing or giving back to the people who work hours on end every day to make sure our groups are operating seamlessly, that our website functions, or that our lights remain on. They are simply profiting off of an amazing idea that Ashley and I had back in 2011.
We’ve thought long and hard about how to approach this, and we believe that the only way to make change happen is through transparency. With that being said, we have compiled a list of races and organization that we no longer do business with because they were unwilling to support Black Girls RUN! from a national perspective, have side-stepped our organization to use our community and our ambassadors to market their events without compensating the organization, and/or have piggybacked on events or stolen our concepts to give themselves a better market position while continuing to milk the BGR! brand in its marketing and advertising.
And, honestly this list does not include the countless other races that have broken national protocol and have created relationships with our local groups. We need your support and commitment to make sure we work with races that support Black Girls RUN! at a national and local level. We want to make sure the organizations we partner with realize our worth and do not just want to capitalize off what we can bring to the table vs. it being mutually beneficial. We need your support and commitment to stop the cycle of creating these relationships with races without having the proper approval.
This isn’t about creating drama or “putting someone on blast,” however, as social entrepreneurs and small business owners, we realize the value of Black Girls RUN! to OUR community and how we have almost single-handedly changed the face of women’s recreational long distance running in the United States.
The power of Black Girls RUN! Is immeasurable and it is up to all of us to preserve our history, our legacy and our future.
Toni & Ashley
Black Girls RUN! is so excited to be teaming up with the Trenton Half Marathon for the 4th year in a row on Saturday, October 29th in New Jersey! We have almost 700 ladies coming to the Trenton takeover this year, and another 300 joining us on the pavement virtually!
If you have not registered yet, there is still time! October 22nd is the last day to sign up for the TRENTON VIRTUAL RACE! You can receive the double bling in the mail and run the race anywhere.
Interested in running in Trenton??? October 25th is the deadline to register for the actual race! REGISTER TODAY! #preservethesexy
1. EXPO - Black Girls RUN! will be selling gear on site at the expo ONLY!
Thursday - October 27, 2016 - 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Friday - October 28, 2016 - 12:00pm to 8:00pm
2. VOLUNTEERS - We need volunteers for the expo & race! Sign up for a shift below. You will be assisting with the BGR! store, packet pickup and giving out medals near the finish line.
by Francine Labiran (Fit Life With Fran)
With the Sweat with Your Sole 5k/10k race approaching, you probably already know the importance of proper training in order to make sure both your body, and mind are in top shape. Here are a 3 tips to prepare for race day.
Make It Personal
The idea of using a mantra to get yourself motivated might seem cliché, but they can actually be extremely helpful. Use your mantra as your personal motivator throughout the race. Think about a mantra before the race and make it something personal and powerful that will keep you going - everything from, “I won’t stop!” to “one step at a time”.
Get The Right Fuel
About three days before you have to run, take a look at your diet. Three days before your race, load up on complex carbs, like whole wheat bread and whole grain pasta. This will give your body enough time to break them down and digest before the race. Two days before you run, switch to simple carbs but have less of them, and one day before the race, continue with those simple carbs. You’ll head into your run feeling energized, with enough fuel to carry you through the entire course.
Dress To Be Cool
A good rule of thumb for race wear is to pick something you’d wear as if it were 15-20 degrees warmer outside than it actually is. Your body temperature will make up the difference. Atlanta can get pretty hot and the last thing you want to do during a race is overheat.
Follow these 3 tips and you’ll be able to run better than you may have ever expected! See you ladies at the race!!
by Kim Cabness - Suwanee, GA,
So wound up about the BGR Sweat With Your Sole conference, I’ve decided to make sure I not only have a fantastic time, but a successful and beneficial weekend; something that’s all about me. I’m determined to plan and get organized for it, so nothing is missed.
Ideally, I know I don’t have to prepare for the conference. I’m registered and energized, that’s really enough. I just need to pull out my favorite outfits, clear my memory on my phone, so that I can take lots of pictures and get ready to have a jam-packed weekend. Yet, I’m thinking that I may just have a little more fun if I take a few measures before September. I wonder if I’d feel a little more confident in attending the seminars and running the 10K, if I were prepared physically and mentally.
I’m thinking that I may use this next few weeks to not only begin to decide which sessions I will attend, but start making a few changes in my eating habits. This healthy lifestyle is no longer going to be a goal I’m trying to reach; it’s just a way of life I intend to live. I will start a modified plant based diet for me. I’m getting rid of the meat and cutting down on the dairy and eggs. I’m thinking that if I cut out the high saturated fats and replace it with some detoxifying fruits and veggies; I may start doing my body some good. I can build healthier bones and increase my blood protein levels just by eating more vegetables. I can almost visualize my arteries filled with vegetables are probably healthier than if I were to just decrease carbohydrates. Statistics say that vegans often experience lower body weight without losing muscle mass. If this is the case, why exactly do I need a beef burger?
As of today, I’m packing in the nutrients, minerals, vitamins and fiber from plant based foods. I’m going to allow them to do some BODY WORK for me. They can reduce some risk of cancer and other diseases. They can assist with protecting me from bone and brain diseases. They can decrease my chances of obesity.
This plant based diet can get some work done for me, while I start selecting my sessions to attend during the conference.
Can't wait to see you there.
REGISTER TODAY @ sweatwithyousole.com
Meet Shermell Williams!
Age 37 from South Atlanta
Senior Event Manager for Marriott International
I love Running and Traveling!
Health and fitness is a lifestyle - just dieting will not work. You have to first make the decision that you want to change your lifestyle
I look forward to meeting ladies and talking about their fitness journey. Looking forward to the great classes that will be offered as well.
See everyone at the Sweat With Your Sole Festival Weekend next month!
Meet Kim Cabness!
51 yrs old
World Traveler (without Plans/Agenda), Golfer, Political Nerd, Baker, Runner, Mom
I never want to miss out on an opportunity to live a long vigorous life. If I can make some small difference in my health, I’m doing it. I enjoy LIVING and can never seem to wait to see what tomorrow is going to bring. Hanging out with my grandchildren one day, is on my list of ‘things to do’, so I’m preparing by living a healthy life style.
I’m super excited about the Black Girls RUN! Sweat With Your Sole conference. The speaker list and classes are dynamic. We’ll be introduced to not only new ideas and methods to stay and get in shape, but spend the weekend with like-minded women from all over the country.
Make sure you look for me in Atlanta September 18 – 20th at the conference.
by Francine Labiran of Fit Life with Fran
With less than 2 months until the Sweat With Your Sole, now is the best time to get prepared for the 5k/10k run. Here are my top three race prep tips that will help start you off on the right track.
Start Slow, And Steady
One mistake that’s easy to make is starting out too hard, too fast. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself, especially when you see experienced runners around you who can make it look so easy. Instead of charging out of the gate quickly, take your time to build up a steady speed, and find a pace that’s comfortable for you. From there, you can slowly build up your pace and distance.
Fuel Up The Right WayDuring the next few weeks, you’ll be running a lot more, burning more calories, and your muscles will need more fuel. So, it’s important to hydrate and give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. About an hour before your run, try to have something with a healthy blend of carbs, protein, and fats. A piece of whole grain bread with a tablespoon of almond is a perfect pre-run snack that will keep your body fueled and energized. And don’t forget to replenish those muscles after your run. One of my go-to meals for refueling after a run is my Super Green Smoothie Bowl.
The Right Shoe Is Key
When you’re excited about starting to run or getting back into running, it can be easy to go out and buy all the gear you think you’ll need, including shoes. We’ve all been there before! Unfortunately, many runners initially purchase the wrong shoes, and as a result, they experience foot, hip, or back pain and discomfort that could turn them off from running altogether. Instead of playing a guessing game, or just getting shoes that look good, your best bet is to head to your local sporting goods store and get some help finding the perfect shoe.
With these helpful three tips in mind, get out there, hit the pavement, and get ready to “sweat with your sole”! Happy running, ladies
Hello! My name is Uneeda Arnold and I am 46 years old, living in Atlanta, Ga. I am a former IT Project Manager with AT&T, currently doing residential rehab for a new company I just started and I do background extra work in the movies. I am a mom to a high school senior and we love playing games (both board games and video). In my down time I draw as well.
Health and fitness play a huge roll in my life. I started running almost two years ago and it is my new love. My running goal is a half marathon in all 50 states, with my home state of IL being my last state and one and done for a full marathon. I started running to raise money for a homelessness prevention 5k and didn't stop. Running has totally changed my couch potato lifestyle. In addition to running, I now do yoga, kettlebell, zumba. and pilates.
I am looking forward to the 2016 Sweat With Your Sole Conference & Race Weekend! I am most excited to meet BGR! ladies from all over the Nation and sharing a weekend of fitness and fun! Make sure you register for this awesome upcoming conference!
Hi! My name is Francine Labiran, I’m 31 and live in Atlanta. I’m a Senior Project Manager at AT&T and the voice behind the healthy living blog, Fit Life with Fran, where my vision is to educate, inspire and empower women-on-the-go to focus on healthy, strong, and confident living. In my spare time, I’m a Girls on the Run coach, where I mentor an amazing group of young middle school girls, and a modern dancer and alumna at Moving in the Spirit, a non-profit youth dance organization.
Although I briefly ran track and field in high school, it wasn't until I completed my first 5k race 3 years ago that I truly developed my love for running. Since then I’ve run over 20 5k races, a handful of 10k’s, a half marathon, and connected with many inspiring women along the way. Running has taught me that no dream is too big if you have the courage to chase it. Running has also inspired my blog, Fit Life with Fran, which provides healthy living tips, recipes, workouts and challenges that help women-on-the-go improve their health and happiness. I truly believe healthy living is not about perfection but about body positivity, self-love, and finding your balance between healthy and happy!
I am beyond excited to represent Black Girls Run! as a Sweat With Your Sole 2016 ambassador! I’m looking forward having the opportunity to connect with all of the amazing women of the BGR! community, share my love for running, exercise, and healthy foods and chatting with Jeanette Jenkins! I'm also ready to “sweat my sole” during the 5k/10k with the BGR! Community! See everyone in September!