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Black Girls Run? Yep. Black Girls Run! Even here in Austin

Posted May 20 2013 8:40pm
Black Girls Run!

Members of the Austin Chapter of Black Girls Run! warmup before a recent Saturday run./Photo courtesy Austin American-Statesman

I’ve groused and groused often in this space about the lack of black runners I see here in Austin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve even been quoted in Runner’s World Magazine on the subject.

So it was nice to see Monday’s Austin American-Statesman story authored by Pam LeBlanc about the Austin chapter of Black Girls Run! - a national group for runners created in 2009 by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks. Carey and Hicks, both black women and avid runners, wanted to do something to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. The national Black Girls Run! Facebook page has more than 71,000 likes.

The big eye-popping number: There are 350 members of Black Girls Run! in the Austin chapter. They even have   a Facebook page . Wow! I have not seen a total of 350 black women in the four years I’ve lived in Austin, much less 350 black women running. Now, to be sure, you don’t have to be a black woman to be a member. LeBlanc is also a member and from the looks of her Statesman bio , she is white.

bgr-image LeBlanc’s piece lays out the obligatory, but sorry statistics: Austin has 8.1 percent black population, but less than 2 percent of all people who describe themselves as “core runners” are black; Blacks are more likely to be overweight; yada, yada, yada.

LeBlanc also spent a recent Saturday morning with some of the members of Black Girls Run! and told their stories of why they joined the group.

No topic was left untouched. Even black hair.

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