By: J. Chevont’e Alexander
In 2012, Richmond, Virginia was ranked as the second most obese city in the country with 29.4 percent of the population weighing in as obese, according to the Gallup survey. So, the national organization Black Girls RUN! is “running” to the capital city to help curb the growing obesity and overweight numbers in the community. Richmond is the fourth stop on the Black Girls RUN! Preserve the Sexy tour, sponsored by ESSENCE magazine. The Preserve the Sexy Tour started in January 2013, and is traveling to cities in the United States that the Centers for Disease Control consider the “Stroke Belt”. These cities have some of the highest obesity rates in the nation. Black Girls RUN! will be hosting one-day health and fitness clinics about being healthy, being active, and preserving the sexy.
“The rate of adults and children diagnosed as overweight or obese are staggering. It will take a collaborative effort from the community to build a healthier community,” said Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls RUN!.
The Richmond tour stop will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Imani Catering – Conference Center located at 1506 Hull Street in Richmond, adjacent to First Baptist Church of South Richmond.
Black Girls RUN! cofounders, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks will kick-off the event with the help of the local Black Girls RUN! Richmond group that was launched in the area late September 2012. The Richmond group has grown to include almost 600 women in the Greater Richmond area. Local Richmonders, natural hair care stylist Karen Wilson, clinical dietician, Katrice Mayo, R.D., and Claire Shurtz from REI Short Pump will be talking about hair care, nutrition, and the basics of running. Miss Selena Watkins, 2012-2013 Miss Black USA will also be the guest speaker.
“Too many women have been intimidated by the idea of running because they started out too fast or went too hard. We want to provide women who are interested in running the solid foundation they need to get started in a fun, relaxing atmosphere,” said Toni Carey, co-founder of Black Girls RUN!. “With the ‘Preserve the Sexy Tour’ we want to encourage African-American women in areas with high obesity rates to embark on a healthy lifestyle, and reach out to our local communities to enhance its focus on obesity prevention at all levels.”
The Preserve The Sexy Tour will feature Black Girls RUN!’s unique “Walk Before You RUN!” training program. The local training will begin the week of March 17. The training will guide women in their journey from walking to running. The tour is open to beginner runners, walkers, non-Black Girls RUN! members and current Black Girls RUN! members. Participants attending the Preserve The Sexy Tour will receive a comprehensive toolkit to get them out of the door and onto the pavement.
For all “Preserve the Sexy Tour” updates and to register for the event, visit www.blackgirlsrun.com. Tickets are on sale until March 15.To contact the local Richmond group about the training and weekly group runs, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.