By: Bambi Sharpe (BGR! North Jersey, Run Coordinator for Jersey City)

Running the Newport Liberty Half Marathon will be the second half marathon that I will run.  The first half marathon that I ran, I had no strategy what so ever, but to finish.  This half, I am aiming high...well higher.  I would like to finish in less than two hours and thirty minutes.  Between participation in BGR! and service in the military, I am a runner but rarely do I log long any miles over four to five. 

To motivate myself to get where I need to be and hold myself accountable, I set up a training schedule through an app that plans the number of miles I am to run within the time leading up to the Newport Liberty Half Marathon.  I, also, have a running partner.  It is easier to give up on yourself.  But when you have someone that has committed to the same challenges that you have, it’s hard to leave that person out there hanging.  Between the partner and the app, I am held accountable, I increase my mileage at a steady rate, and I build up my endurance.  I workout a total of six out of seven days.

During the week, I run at least five days incorporating three of those days with strength training to help build muscle and core training to help improve my running posture.  Day six is low impact cardio such as elliptical, stair master, or walking on the treadmill.  Day seven is a rest day.  You must always give your body time to repair, recover, and build muscle (muscle is built on the rest day).  Adequate sleep is

Along with the physical aspects of training, there is also diet and emotional well being.  Although I want to try to drop 10 pounds before race day, it is important that I have a well balanced meal that accommodates and supports the amount of increased exercise that I will be conducting in the days leading up until race day.  I feel that the lighter that I am the easier it will be for me to sustain on the other hand I believe that training at my current weight will only get me accustomed to running at the weight that I currently am.  My body getting the correct amount of nutrients is essential.  I don’t want to go down in the training process nor race day.  Ensuring that I am well hydrated and replacing the fluids that I sweat out is also important (I am a sweater).  I am trying to drink a gallon of water a day.  I have not been able to achieve the entire gallon within a days time but as long as I have consumed at least three fourths of the jug, I feel as though I have accomplished a lot.

The final and most important training aspect that is a must is to ensure that I am surrounding myself with people who have similar goals, positive, and encouraging.  Every dog had its day so it is very important that when I have those day when I don’t believe in myself that I can always go to my winner’s corner for some positive affirmations and encouragement.  Having someone that believes in me, other than myself, helps get through the rough times when I am doubting myself.

I see the Newport Half as a stepping stone for me.  It is the race were I increase my standards of just being the average runner.  It will be the race where I see if I can stick to my plans of preparation and to see if my hard work and dedication pays off.  I believe that it will.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

More information on the Newport Liberty Half Marathon:

When:              Sunday, September 20, 2015

Racers take their mark at 8:30 a.m. Registration opens at 6:45 a.m.

Where:             Newport Town Square

100 Town Square Place
Jersey City, NJ 07310

 What:               Jersey City’s popular half marathon championship marks its 21st year! Recreational and elite runners from around the country can compete for $3,000 in prize money on a USA Track & Field-certified course that          interweaves with the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway from Newport to Liberty State Park.

The open-air race has been called the most beautiful course in the Tri-State area with spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge.

Winnings and records will be awarded immediately after, during the Post-Race Party with refreshments, a local DJ and several prize drawings for gift cards and event tickets. All runners will receive finisher medals. 

Social Cause:  Proceeds are being donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, the area’s newest regional teaching hospital, proving the highest level of care for women, infants, and trauma and heart patients.

Registration:   $50; waived for VIP bloggers

More Info:       For registration details visit or call 201-665-4005. For more information about Newport visit

Fashion is to peanut butter as Fitness is to Jelly

By Bridgett Artise

Fashion and Fitness go together like peanut butter and jelly or hummus and pita bread...why you ask?

Generally people work out to improve themselves, their weight, their health, their state of mind, their overall well being. All of these things take time, though we sometimes wish it was an easy fix, it is not. What is an easy fix however is dressing up the outside. While we work on everything else we are still able to put our best foot forward by dressing up!

Fashion has always spoken for us, especially women. It allows us to make a statement without speaking. When we couldn't vote or didn't have equal rights, those were the times when we were our most glamorous because our clothes articulated for us what we couldn't say. Decades later a lot has changed but we are still speaking through our wardrobe.

Fitness is a priority in most of our lives if we are to live long healthy lives. When we are able to match our sneakers with our hoodie, or our neon leggings with our t-shirt it shows we are excited about improving ourselves, that we want to look our best and feel our best. Am I saying you have to look like you are about to hit the runway when going out for a jog, absolutely not! I am saying that when we present our enthusiasm to the world via fashion it speaks volumes.

Ladies, Let your inner Fly Fitness Self be heard!

bout Born Again Vintage & Bridgett Artise:

Bridgett Artise is a wonder to fashion. The way she has snuck up on our beloved industry has only left us wondering where she has been all our lives- especially in those moments when we had a few yards of fabric to spare and lacked the wondrous vision she so greatly possesses. Surprisingly, she is a FIT graduate who’s path was to be a buyer, and after working for the likes of Claire’s, Strawberry’s and Bloomingdales it seemed to be a done deal. Nowadays she wears many hats, some of which include designer of Born Again Vintage, event planner, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, titled Vintage Expert by the New York Times and most importantly, mother of two beautiful children. To learn more about Bridgette and Born Again Vintage head over to 

If you are like me, I love love love working out in shorts! But for us thick thigh ladies, traditional running shorts are not my best friend. From rolling up, to chafing, to my whole lower half just eating the shorts with each step, its just not pretty! But no worries to my thunder thigh friends, I have found the perfect shorts!

Ryka | A Women Only Sport Company makes athletic clothing exclusively for women and has become a true master of their craft. I fell in love with their Shape Training Shorts because they are quite comfortable and are made to really fit all body types. And, best of all no tugging or adjusting during my run! They also feature reflective details for night runs and have that handy back zip pocket for your keys, etc. The price point is affordable ($37.99) and after a few washes they have still remain in tact as if they were brand new. I highly recommend these shorts for all women, but especially my curvier ladies!Go check out Ryka's great clothing and shoe products and see how they really make their clothes just for us! They really shout with pride: women supporting women!

Continue to Preserve the Sexy!


Black Girls RUN! Podcast:

Setting Goals & Rebounding From Failure with Deneen Young

Deneen Young is a Wellness and Fitness Coach, life coach, motivational speaker and certified spin instructor. She is also a group fitness trainer and was one of the first BGR! ambassadors. In this podcast, Deneen sits down with BGR! co-founder Toni Carey to talk about setting goals, and removing the barriers that keep you from achieving them.  

You can reach Deneen at, or at 215-669-4480.  And, keep an eye out for her website launch coming soon at

If you’re only half crazy, and perhaps a bit of a diva, the Divas® Half Marathon & 5K Series in Peachtree City is the event for you!

After a successful inaugural race last fall, the Divas® Half Marathon & 5K Series is set to return to Peachtree City on September 12th, 2015. It will be the first stop on the Divas tour this fall.

With over 400 Black Girls RUN! members already registered for the upcoming race next month, you don’t want to be left out.

Not only does the course run along the trails of Peachtree City and through beautiful canopied areas, each participant receives a unique shopping experience at the two-day Health & Fitness Boutique, women’s fit tech tee, and tutu. All finisher’s receive a “blinged-out” tiara medal, bubbly, boa and tiara.

You’re not going to want to miss this race! Sign up now to guarantee your spot at Space is limited!

Oh, and did we mention the hunks that are waiting at the finish line to give you your medal?


By Bridgett Artise, Designer at Born Again Vintage

To get the motivation to work out and keep working out is a triumph for many. We use all types of inspiration to keep the flow of motivation going. Looking cute while working is not a necessity but why not look good while trying to look better! Here are very easy tips to revamp your work out look:


  • Fold in half (vertically), seam to seam and cut ovals out from top of waistband to top of shoulder seam – not only do you have a updated look you keep the warmth of a sweatshirt with the added benefit of cooling off by having your arms and sides out.

  • Create a crop sweatshirt but cutting off the waistband but be sure to try on first and mark how much you would like to cut, one false move and a crop can turn into a fashion don’t! If you are feeling daring…cut the sleeves too – GO for it!



The cool thing about revamping you can do the same thing to many different types of silhouettes. In addition to what you did to your sweatshirt you can also do these little fun recycling ideas:

  • Add a sweatshirt pocket to the front of your tee by either removing one from an old sweatshirt or creating one from existing old fabric. Perfect to hold all your little necessities while jogging but keep cool without the weight of a sweatshirt.


  • Turn one of your favorite tees that may have lost its edge and add raglan sleeves by either removing from existing older garment or by creating with existing fabric. This way you keep your favorite tee AND create a sleeveless tee from removing sleeves from another shirt. Two revamps in one!

About Born Again Vintage & Bridgett Artise:

Bridgett Artise is a wonder to fashion. The way she has snuck up on our beloved industry has only left us wondering where she has been all our lives- especially in those moments when we had a few yards of fabric to spare and lacked the wondrous vision she so greatly possesses. Surprisingly, she is a FIT graduate who’s path was to be a buyer, and after working for the likes of Claire’s, Strawberry’s and Bloomingdales it seemed to be a done deal. Nowadays she wears many hats, some of which include designer of Born Again Vintage, event planner, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, titled Vintage Expert by the New York Times and most importantly, mother of two beautiful children. To learn more about Bridgette and Born Again Vintage head over to 

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey)

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing my blog post about prep week of the "21 Day Clean Eating Challenge" as part of our new BGR! U educational series and here we are now in our final week. I know you're probably wondering what happened between prep week and week three, so here's a quick run down of how the two "lost weeks" went.

Prep Week: Again prep week was all about eliminating the things that are typical pain points in our diets or that may make our guts (stomach/intestines) upset. This included removing alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, sugar and gluten. This week, by far, was the most difficult. I slept a lot and dealt with headaches for the majority of the week from quitting coffee (and alcohol) cold turkey. I would NOT recommend going cold turkey with coffee. Trust me.

Week One: During week one I felt a LOT better. I was getting into the groove of thinking about my meals at the top of the week and planning lunch and dinner around my somewhat chaotic schedule.

Sounds cumbersome? It really wasn't. I chose one smoothie recipe for breakfast, one recipe for dinner and a salad dressing to make (for lunch) to eat all week and BAM! That was the extent of my meal planning! Of course I made my dinner and the salad dressing on Sunday night, but I'm definitely not talking about putting HOURS of time in the kitchen for meal prep. I. Just. Can't.

To top things off, I traveled home to Nashville during week one so I had fun testing a few recipes out on my mom. It gave me a chance to share the clean eating gospel while spending some quality time together. Win/Win!

One of the highlights of my trip was checking out Nashville's newest raw vegan restaurant, Avo, which was absolutely amazing (pictured below). In fact, so amazing, my cousin and I went there twice that week. Oh! By the way by this time, I'm sleeping better, have SO much energy and generally feel a lot happier! Coincidence?



Week Two: Week two was more meal planning and prepping, but really focusing on trying recipes that would satisfy my "comfort food" taste buds. I'm an emotional eater (in a good and bad way), so when I start to crave something, I really have to just satisfy it or it will drive me nuts! I made a super simple dessert (No-Bake Fig Newton Snowballs from Danielle Omar's Nourish Cookbook(pictured below) and a Buddah Bowl with Cashew Cream. And both were as good as they sound! (also note, that you get Danielle Omar's Nourish Cookbook as part of the program. All the recipes are SUPER simple!)

Here's where things get a little tricky. Our family has a terrible tradition. It's called "We always eat pizza on Friday nights". Not only is pizza one of my favorite foods, it's the perfect veg out meal. You know, a good "hanging on the couch on Friday night, watching a movie after a long week" meal. 

Lucky for me, there's a great gourmet pizza place around the corner from our home that makes gluten free and vegan pizza! SCORE! We headed over to grab dinner and within minutes of sitting down I don't feel well. I don't think anything of it, and order a gluten free, cheese-less pizza that was WAY more delicious than it sounds. Within moments of getting home, I was sick to my stomach with the stench of a dead skunk. Not pretty. The verdict? My body hates gluten.

Week Three: I was still recovering from the previous week's exposure to gluten and it takes a good 3 - 4 days for me to feel back at 100%. During the first few days of the week, I slept quite a bit and couldn't quite shake the feeling of grogginess. It sucked. But, I make it. This was also vegan week. Also, not as bad as you think!

Week Four: Here we are at week four and I have to say that I haven't felt this great in a very long time. I sleep better, I have a lot more energy, I don't feel bloated and I'm not gassy! And surprisingly I've lost 8 pounds over the course of these four weeks. Not necessarily from eating less (which I probably was), but from eating BETTER! I don't feel hungry all the freaking time and I seem to be much more in tune with my body! This week the theme is "Rebalance" which allows you to reintroduce gluten and cheese into your diet to see how your body reacts to it. Well, I already know the answer to this question, so I won't reintroduce either any time soon. Also, I still haven't had one drop of coffee or wine! I'm winning!

What's next? Well, this is a complete lifestyle change and one of the great things about the "21 Day Clean Eating Challenge" program is that it helps guide you to the next phase by really honing in on what is going to make it sustainable for YOU. Some people will go back to eating just the way they did prior to the program, but the goal is for you to really make it something that can last for the rest of your life. That doesn't necessarily mean removing gluten, dairy, wine or coffee from your diet FOREVER, but it does mean being more aware of what you're putting into your body and realizing how great you can feel without all the overly processed JUNK!

For me, that probably does mean no gluten or dairy for me EVER, but it's not a bad thing. I hopeful that some of the health issues I've experienced over the past several years can finally be resolved by my change in diet!

The biggest take away for me has been that, we don't give food enough credit or honor its ability to hurt or heal our bodies. Yeah, I think we all know that eating healthy in the long term is the right decision to make, but I think the majority of us are unaware of just how life changing that making a few changes to our diet can be....physically, mentally and emotionally! 

The "21 Day Clean Eating Challenge" led by Danielle Omar has been SO life changing for me, that we're bringing it back this Fall starting September 9. For a limited time, you can take advantage of the program for just $105 instead of the full price of $120! 

Also, if you want to check out some of the amazing food I ate during the program, check out pics on Instagram at @toni_carey.

Learn More or Register for the Fall Series of the  

"21 Day Clean Eating Challenge" Led by Danielle Omar

Oct. 17, Baltimore, Md.

Celebrating its 15th Anniversary and this one keeps getting better! With five distances

(full, half, four-person relay, 5K and fun run) to choose from, and all runners snagging a

great Under Armour shirt and a flashy finisher’s medal for participating, this is one you

can’t miss. The seven hour time limit for the full marathon and 4 1/2 hours for the half

marathon makes it friendly for runners of all abilities.

The course starts in the heart of the city and travels to Druid Hill Park and inside the

gates of the Maryland Zoo, through the famed Inner Harbor, past Little Italy, the Canton

waterfront and Patterson Park and around Lake Montebello before passing near the Johns

Hopkins University campus and retuning downtown with a dramatic finish through the

Camden Yards baseball stadium.

Sign up fast as the races sell out every year. You won’t want to miss the 15th Annual

Baltimore Running Festival.

Do you have a passion for running? Do you find joy in motivating women to live healthier and more active lives? Are you a leader? But, most importantly.... do you want to start a new BGR! group in your community?

It has been a long time coming, but the opportunity is finally here! Black Girls RUN! HQ is now accepting applications for communities interested in joining the BGR! family, the journey, THE MOVEMENT!

We are looking to launch groups this Fall, so apply now! Click the link here to submit the form for consideration. Please take a look here BEFORE submitting to find out if a group is already established close to you. 

We look forward to you joining THE MOVEMENT!


Run Like a DIVA

July 15, 2015


Summer isn’t the only time of the year you can have a beach-ready body. Why not aim for your health and fitness goals all year round? Why not look as great in October, and then even better in December? New Year’s doesn’t have to be the only time to work on a better you. So start running like a DIVA now.

Make your health a priority, and join the running movement that more and more women are challenging themselves with every day. Black Girls RUN! has partnered with the Divas® Half Marathon & 5K Series, focusing on locations in Peachtree City, GA, DC’s Wine Country, VA and Long Island, NY. But the Divas don’t just stop there. The series travels as far south as San Juan, Puerto Rico, and as far west as Temecula and San Francisco Bay, CA.

We know you like to run BGR!, or at least love that feeling of empowerment you get when you’re drenched in sweat and sore from completing a course, but have you considered running in a tutu? How about in all pink, crossing the finish line with a boa and tiara?

Bubbly at the finish line doesn’t sound half bad either, especially when there are half-naked hunks there to greet you.

If that hasn’t caught your eye yet, maybe the bling will:

The first stop on the Divas® Half Marathon & 5K Series tour is Peachtree City, GA. Right outside Atlanta, with a course that runs through the trails and in the shade, is your opportunity to strut while you run.

The series offers both a half marathon and 5K on the morning of September 12th, 2015. So if you’re ready for that crown you already know you deserve, check out