The nation’s newest health phenomenon, Black Girls Run, will touch down in Nashville on Saturday, January 5, 2013. BGR, a national running group and health movement, is hosting its first national tour, Preserve the Sexy. It will be held from 9 a.m – 2 p.m at Aloft Hotel, 1719 West End. The one-day conference will not include a group run, but will be filled with guest speakers and experts who will give tips on running, proper eating for runners, proper running shoes, hair tips and more.
It is open to beginning runners and those that are advanced. Co-founder, Ashley Hicks promises the conference will be educational, entertaining and informative. She describes it as a must-attend-event for those interested in running or those already running.
“We have a lot of people who will join, but for some reason they’re intimidated about joining, and people always say they’ll get in shape before joining us. So we thought we’d go to these different states and help them break the intimidation,” said Hicks.
“It’s good also for these events to really connect with the ladies in their cities. Knowing that the support is there makes BGR successful. To know that you have an incredible support system makes a big difference.”
Hicks and co-founder Toni Carey, both Middle Tennessee State University graduates, have made Nashville the first stop in the seven city tour that will end in Greenville/Spartanburg, North Carolina on June 8. Registration for the conference is still open. To sign up, visit www.BlackGirlsRun.com. While there, you can also sign up for free to join BGR.
Hicks, a former soccer player, and Carey founded BGR three years ago. The women were running to get in shape. Hicks said their fitness began to capture a lot of attention from people asking how they were toning up. They then began sharing their journey of running to stay fit through blogging and almost immediately, Black Girls Run was born. The blog captured a lot of national attention and almost immediately, Hicks and Carey had a following.
“I’m completely shocked. Toni and I talk about it. We’re just in awe still about all of these black women running and running together. That was a challenge in itself. We are definitely shocked at the anticipation and how it’s come about,” said Hicks.
BGR has 60 affiliate groups nationwide totaling more than 50,000 members. Hicks said the quick growth in the groups is good news considering dismal numbers for African-American women’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, African-Americans have the highest obesity rate, 50% , over other races. African-American women have the highest obesity rate compared to other groups in the United States, with four out of five African-American women being obese, as reported by the Office of Minority Health.
The women who fall within that statistic and those that are working to avoid it are the women Hicks and Carey say they are trying to reach. Hicks, who has a strong family history of diabetes, said the possibility of a lifetime of health ailments has been motivation enough for her. That’s why the duo say they have structured the seven-stop tour to equip and empower women who want to run. Registration for the conference is still open. To sign up, visit www.BlackGirlsRun.com. While there, you can also sign up for free to join BGR.
Preserve the Sexy Tour
February 2 – Birmingham, Alabama
February 9 – Miami, Florida
March 16 – Richmond, Virginia
April 20 – Atlanta, Georgia
May 11 – Jackson, Mississippi
June 8 – Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina