Thousands of runners have signed up to participate in the Black Girls RUN! Drive to End Hunger race that will be held at Atlantic Station in mid-September.
The group Black Girls RUN! (BGR) was founded by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks, runners who decided to spread their love of exercise and healthy living to their friends, neighbors and loved ones.
Obesity is running rampant in all segments of American society, but it is especially prevalent amongst African-American women; according to the Office of Minority Health, 80 percent of African-American women over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese.
The Sept. 14-16 Drive to End Hunger 5K/10K races, held at Atlantic Station, are expected to draw about 3,000 runners in total. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the AARP Drive to End Hunger and Hosea Feed the Hungry. Hicks is looking forward to meeting the Atlanta community and partaking in this challenging but fun event.
Black Girls RUN! is open to women of all ethnicities (no men allowed, though!) and encourages members to share their progress and discoveries with their group members and other peers, to spread the ideas of eating and exercising right.
"It has to be a lifestyle change and not just a diet," Hicks said.
So far, the group has around 40,000 members in 60 BGR groups. The groups serve as a support structure for those who are trying to lose weight and improve their health and quality of life.
"The big reason people don't stick with the program is theres no accounting from peer groups," said Hicks. "Now, people are more supportive of people losing weight."