VIBE VIXEN: Tell us how Black Girls Run! started?
ASHLEY: Black Girls Run! is three years old, and we started out as a blog back in March 2009. At the time, I had been running for two years, and we decided to start blogging about our running experiences since it was very few black women running. We started off writing post on running, nutrition and health and fitness. From blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, we created a network initially of other Black runners and slowly we started bringing girls interested in running into the running community. Last year, we officially launched our own Black Girls Run! running group. Right now, we have over 60 groups and over 25,000 members.
Wow, your network grew fast. How do the various running groups work?
Ashley: We have running groups in different city with the largest being in major cities. We take in groups every six months for ambassadors who run the group in their city.
What type of women and runners are encouraged to participate in Black Girls Run!
TONI: We have people who have never run a day in their life to marathoners. It ranges from beginners to veteran runners
On the blog there is a post titled “Black Women Struggle with Body Image Too.” In Black culture, the voluptuous and full-figured woman is praised. What are your thoughts on that?
Toni: That’s a tough question. On one hand, our community has done a disservice to woman by coining terms as “thick” and glorifying being bigger. While I believe that everyone should be comfortable in their own skin in regards to being overweight or obese, we shouldn’t champion that. But then there is also the reverse end of that, where I think all women experience body image issues, and I think Black women get both ends of the spectrum.
What are some easy running routines that people can use to ease back into running?