Details About the #BGRBoycott &

What You Can Do to Help

Last month, we announced that Black Girls RUN! would no longer support and/or promote specific races and racing organizations that we felt were not supportive of the organization. We have received a tremendous amount of support from our members and the broader running community. The resounding questions we are continuously asked are "what does this really mean?" and "how can I help?"

(If you haven't listened to the Real Runners of Atlanta podcast, where we explained in even greater detail, we suggest you do so ASAP. You can listen here. p.s. Thank you guys for having us on!) 

We wanted to share some additional insight and context around the announcements, and provide a clear call to action for how the BGR! community can support us in this effort, and how the entire running community can join in to make the greatest impact. 

In light of the current political climate, we believe it's more important than ever to show the world that we can come together for greater impact and positive change. This is certainly a conversation that will continue you.

Thank you for standing in solidarity with us. 

- Toni & Ashley


How You Can Support the #BGRBoycott

Why Is BGR! boycotting these races?

  • Black Girls RUN! has requested that all racing companies work with the organization nationally to develop partnerships and relationships with our local groups.
  • To avoid the middleman (national), organizations are reaching out to our local members and Ambassadors and establishing partnerships, agreements, contracts, etc. using our brand, running groups, etc. with no investment (monetary or otherwise) into our organization.
  • 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, advertising, promotional dollars
  • 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 and that we continue to grow the movement . They are simply profiting from the hard work, time and resources invested in the organization - from volunteers, ambassadors, run coordinators, etc.
  • Our goal is simply this: To be completely transparent with our members about why we do not support/promote certain races and to stop these organizations for causing further confusion and misalignment between our national focus and goals, and local groups.

What does this mean for BGR! Members?

  • We are asking BGR! members to stand united with us in this boycott.
  • This means that you do not support the following races through promotion, registration, meet ups, etc.
    • Hot Chocolate Race Series
    • DIVAS Race Series
    • Rock n’ Roll Race Series
    • Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon
  • We recognize your accomplishments in training, however in order to stand collectively and have the most impact, effective January 1, 2017, let’s only support the races that support Black Girls RUN!.
  • If you are interested in a race being added to our partnership list, please contact Jay Ell Alexander,


What Do We Want Members to Do [or Not to Do]

  • Until further notice, BGR! is not supporting the following races:
    • Hot Chocolate Race Series
    • DIVAS Race Series
    • Rock n’ Roll Race Series
    • Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon
  • These races have many of our members registered and participating in upcoming races.
  • For races remaining in 2016, we encourage you to move forward as planned with running your registered race, participate in race meet-ups, photo ops, and finisher photos.
  • Effective January 1, 2017, group Facebook pages cannot advertise meet-ups, events, registration deadlines of these events. BGR! groups should not be affiliated with the races listed above in any way.
  • While we are not stating that ladies can't personally promote the races on their own Facebook pages, we ask that these activities not be promoted on the BGR! group Facebook pages.
  • We encourage BGR! members to continue to wear their BGR! shirts and gear when participating in any racing event.
  • We are also asking that you reach out directly to these organization and show that you’re with BGR! in not supporting their event. Be sure to use hashtag #BGRBoycott in your posts.
  • Please be cautious that this also includes discount codes, volunteer recruitment, bib transfer request, travel and meetups plans and race related things for these organizations not be posted on our pages either.
  • All race partnerships (existing and new) should be directed to Jay Ell Alexander ( to fill out the following form.

#OptOutside with Black Girls RUN! on Black Friday

By: Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

If you haven't heard already, REI is shaking things up again with its #OptOutside campaign, and is closing all of its 149 stores and paying all 12,000+ employees to take the day off, because Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect with the people you love, in the places you love!

We could not be more on board with REI's decision. This Black Friday (November 25), our wallets are taking a rest day and we will be outside enjoying nature and enjoying life. 

We're encouraging you to shake things up a bit and pass on the Black Friday chaos and head outside with your friends and family, for a walk, run, or simply a breath of fresh air. 

Share how you will #OptOutside on Black Friday here. Find the coolest places to run in your area here! Don't forget to share your photos on Black Friday using hashtag #OptOutside #blackgirlsrun



Ashley Hicks-Rocha & Toni Carey, Black Girls RUN! co-founders, discuss news and updates, as well as 2017 plans.
Ashley & Toni, Black Girls RUN! co-founder, discuss news and updates, as well as 2017 plans.


BGR! Pre-sale::

BGR! Events::

Information about the BGR! Boycott::

Black Girls RUN! was launched in 2009 to encourage and empower African-American women to get healthy and fit. Fast-forward to 2016, and we have 70 groups across the country and more than 200,000 members! We're looking to do even more and are expanding our team! If you're passionate about running, health, fitness and black women's health, this just might be the project for you! 

Position/Role: Field Operations Coordinators
Reports To: Field Operations Manager


  • Assists in developing strategic plan for BGR! Running Groups; sets annual and quarterly goals/objectives for running groups in their region
  • Works with Field Operations Manager to establish goals and metrics for groups/regions to ensure organization is achieving it’s strategic goals, mission and vision.
    • Works with local groups to meet goals for groups/regions
    • Provides ongoing recommendations/support to drive engagement at BGR! sponsored events
  • Works with Field Operations Manager to refine group infrastructure, management and operations

- Assists with updating ambassador policy and procedure document

    • Identifies opportunities to better serve groups/community through programming and/or digital content
  • Provides recommendations for group openings/closings
  • Identifies opportunities in local markets for brand visibility/brand partnerships
  • Ensures ambassador have all informational materials to execute programs, partnerships, events, etc. and operate groups effectively
  • Manages region and its ambassadors to ensure brand effectiveness in market
  • Serves as the primary day-to-day contact for ambassadors
    • Ensures each group has strategic plan for group growth, ambassador acquisition/retention
  • Manages onboarding of new ambassadors
  • Works with blog editor to regularly feature members/ambassadors, and other relevant content related to BGR! Running groups

Basic Qualifications :

  • Understanding of Black Girls RUN!, its mission and vision
  • Previous leadership and people management experience
  • Self-starter with great time management and organizational skills with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Experience in business development, marketing, project management
  • Background in the running, health, and/or fitness industries preferred
  • Demonstrates a passion and enthusiasm for living a healthy and active lifestyle, including running, cycling, yoga and sports.
If you are interested in applying for this position, please email a cover letter and resume to JayEll Alexander at Applications close on November 28.

Dear BGR! Members-

We have made the difficult decision to close our Black Girls RUN! All Access membership service.

Having first launched Black Girls RUN! All Access in 2015 with moderate participation, we decided to reintroduce the service at the beginning of 2016, with added benefits and perks to make the program more beneficial for members. Over time, we’ve had several members take advantage of the service, however, were not able to make BGR! All Access a viable membership program and service for members.

We want to thank BGR! All Access members for their support. It has been a wonderful opportunity to provide even more membership benefits and perks to BGR! members across the country. For those who were looking forward to taking advantage of the program, we’re sorry we are no longer able to offer this service.

As of today, you will no longer be able to purchase BGR! All Access. Current yearly and monthly subscribers will continue to receive their membership perks and benefits for the duration of their membership term. We will continue to add discounts and honor any BGR! discounts for the full term of your membership based on the date BGR! All Access was purchased. The service will not change. The only change will be that BGR! All Access will no longer be available for purchase.

Again, thank you so much for your support and your continued support of Black Girls RUN! If you have any questions, please email me at

Thank you!
Toni Carey
Co-Founder, Black Girls RUN! 

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.

The Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon
The Rock n’ Roll Race Series
The Divas Half Marathon & 5K Race Series
The Hot Chocolate Race Series

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

Hello Black Girls RUN! -

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

Coming to Trenton? Here's What You Need to Know for
Black Girls RUN! stuff only!

(For any race/hotel logistics or registration questions, please contact the race directly,

1. EXPO - Black Girls RUN! will be selling gear on site at the expo ONLY!

Wyndham Garden Trenton Hotel
1 West Lafayette St.
Trenton, NJ 08608

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. 

3. EXPO PACKET PICKUP - You will pickup your packet/shirt/bib at the BGR! booth at the expo. Race volunteers will be on site to assist if you have any questions. This is not for folks who paid extra to have their packet mailed to them or pick up on race day.

4. BGR! SHIRT - If you registered BEFORE September 15th, you will be receiving the Trenton Marathon Black Girls RUN! shirt. If you registered AFTER September 15th, there is no guarantee you will receive the BGR! shirt, and you may only receive the regular race participant shirt.

5. PRE RACE MEET UP - On Friday night, the Central Jersey local group will be hosting a meet up at South Rio from 6 to 9pm! This dinner is PREPAID only! We need a minimum of 100 paid responses for this meet and greet to happen. Family and friends are invited as well. We hope to see you there. If interested in attending, but not eating, there is a $5 cover charge (prepaid only also). The deadline to send money is 10/23. Paypal $25 to (send via family/friends) See flyer below for more information!

6. RACE DAY GROUP PHOTO - Race day photo will be at the Arm & Hammer stadium at 7:30am at the front steps. Stay tuned to the BGR! Facebook page if anything changes.

7. RACE MORNING - For Wyndham Garden Trenton hotel guests ONLY, there will be a continental breakfast setup the morning of the race. There is no room service at the hotel during the weekend, but there is a restaurant onsite and the race will be providing light snacks for us race morning. Transportation will be provided by the race for hotel guests to/from the start/finish line.

8. START LINE - Race starts at 8am on Saturday, October 29. Black Girls RUN! will have an area at the start line with our own porto-potties (YAY!).

9. FINISH LINE - At the finish line (in the stadium), Black Girls RUN! will have a booth near the finish line where you can come to receive your 2nd bling. Again, you must come to the booth in the stadium (not the start line) to receive your 2nd medal.

10. VIRTUAL RACE - If you signed up for the virtual race (deadline October 22nd), the race coordinators will start mailing your medals and/or BGR! shirts on October 21st to receive in time for the race day. Enjoy your run!

FINALLY, HAVE FUN! - Have a great weekend and tons of fun! For any onsite Black Girls RUN! questions/concerns about the Trenton weekend, please email Jay Ell Alexander,

3 SWYS Race Day Tips

September 07, 2016


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.


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!