Ready to RUN!

Ready to RUN!
September 17
00:00 2014

Interest session for black female fitness group packs them in

(pictured above:  Chanel Davis Dozens of women learn about Black Girls RUN!)

Ready, Set, Get Fit!

Pam Bradsher

Pam Bradsher

That may as well be Pam Bradsher’s mantra. She was among a bevy of women who attended an information session last week held by the local chapter of Black Girls RUN!, an über popular international fitness initiative.

“I’m interested in the program, getting healthy and getting more exercise,” Bradsher said. “I am really looking for that support group. Someone that will just really push me and someone who I can depend on as well. Hopefully, they can keep me motivated to exercise more.”

BGR! Winston-Salem leaders led the session Sept. 15 on the campus of Winston-Salem State University. More than 100 women showed up to hear about the group’s “Walk Before You Run” program, which slowly guides new participants into the BGR! fold. Over 12 weeks, new members consult regularly with a group leader, complete-fitness-related homework sessions and register for a virtual running program. At the end of the 12 weeks, the women are invited to take part in a 5k.

LaTisha Alford

LaTisha Alford

“This program targets beginner runners, basically getting them off the couch and into some activity,” said LaTisha Alford, one of the ambassadors for BGR! W-S. “We go from them walking 30 minutes to running their first 5K. It is a lifestyle and personal change that helps you with your nutrition.”

When Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks founded Black Girls RUN! in 2009, they wanted to take on the obesity epidemic in the African-American community while providing support and resources to new and experienced runners. The movement has now become a phenomenon, with close to 100 chapters across the nation and beyond. The group’s national conference was held in Charlotte in 2013 and in Atlanta this year.

Lucrecia Moore adresses attendees.

Lucrecia Moore adresses attendees.

“This shows that black women in our community care about their health and they’re supportive of each other in developing a healthy lifestyle. Running is just a conduit for that,” Ambassador Lucrecia Moore said of the interest in the group. “We are not a weight-loss group but weight-loss is a by-product, so it fosters confidence in our women of color, motivation, encouragement and unity among each other.”

During the two-hour session, ambassadors not only talked about the program, but about what runners should wear and how they can motivate themselves to get up and get moving. Veteran BGR! runners answered questions about the running shoes, hair care and breathing techniques.

Breanna McDaniel was already familiar with BGR!, having taken part in the group when she lived in Atlanta.

Breanna McDaniel

Breanna McDaniel

“I just stopped after moving to Boston, and now I’m here. I am now at a place where I want to get my life back on track and get my health under control,” she said. “It is something about being around black women with the same mindset and goals.”

Alford expected most of the women who were in attendance to show up this week for trial runs.
“From that, I am expecting at least half or 60 percent of those to successfully complete their 5K in 12 weeks,” she said.

Moore says women who are interested in the group should at least give it a try.

“You just have to come out. I don’t want to discourage anyone and make them think that it’s easy. It is not easy, but with our group, the support, training, motivation and encouragement that we give, it is easier,” she said.

For more information about clinics and run times, email or visit Black Girls Run! Winston-Salem on Facebook.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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