In 2009, we created Black Girls RUN! to encourage African-American women to make fitness a priority and become a more health-conscience society, and subsequently aid in lowering the number of chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet. We wanted to dispel all the myths that we, along with other African-American women, had ever heard and believed.
What started out as a way to share our own fitness journey through running has led to the development and launch of more than 60 Black Girls RUN! running groups across the nation. The groups range in level from the most novice, to the most experienced runner, in the hopes of educating African-American women about health and fitness, and providing a support system to help them reach their goals. The movement has been extremely successful— thousands of women have joined in and made a commitment to defy the odds and take charge of their own health.
Meet the women behind Black Girls RUN!
Toni Carey is a writer and entrepreneur at heart. By day, she is a publicist for a mid-size public relations agency. In her spare time, she designs and makes clothes. She is obsessed with vintage shopping, art and alternative music.
Running code name: Turtle
Running Level: Beginner
Why do you like to run? I love the way I feel post-run. Although I feel as though I need a full-body transplant, the sweat and adrenaline make me feel like I can conquer the world. I also think I look smashing in spandex.
My inspiration: I used to work for a company that sponsored the wheelchair division of the ING New York City Marathon. After witnessing the heart and determination of these athletes, I was inspired. I mentioned running a marathon to my now-husband, and he encouraged me to go for it. He’s been my biggest fan!
Ashley Hicks is a lover of all things creative and outdoors. From the hours of nine to five, she spends her time producing and editing videos. When she isn’t working, you can find her taking in the Big Apple, experimenting in the kitchen, or brewing her own beer, Hicks Lite.
Running code name: The Dreamer
Running Level: Intermediate
Why do you like to run? I run to talk to God. Some people pray while they drive or fish. I talk to God and meditate while running. It’s the best therapy session!
My inspiration: I am inspired by older pictures of myself. I often remind myself how far I have come to get in shape, and I don’t want to go back to the “old Ashley”.