Member Testimonials

Running is so much more than just pounding the pavement.  Research has shown that there are countless benefits to running, both for our body and mind.  Running improves our overall health and can even boost our resiliency and stress-management skills, which means that running can help combat depression and anxiety.  If you have never considered running, now is the time.  It is more crucial than ever to bring women to the running community, which is the reason behind Active| Resolute| Connected (ARC).

The goal of ARC is to empower women by breaking barriers and bringing access to running through expanded tools to help ensure success.  Of course there are many coaches and running groups out there who are also there to get you started and we want to work together with them to help you succeed! We believe our comprehensive program will help you not only get started, but sustain your commitment because of the tools we provide.  ARC can supplement any other program, group, or coaching you are involved with, or can stand alone to bring you into running as a beginner or help you achieve and surpass new goals.

The four components of ARC which will help you to be successful with running (and as many of our participants say also find JOY in running) include:

1- Online Running Coaching- You will be matched with a coach to meet your individual needs and goals who will set up a weekly training program.  Training programs are designed to ensure weekly progress and by the end of your eight weeks with ARC, you will be very proud of all that you accomplished. It is amazing how effective individualized, organized workouts can be at improving your fitness!

2- Virtual Physical Therapy- You will start with an intake by a Doctor of Physical Therapy to identify any problem spots or areas of vulnerability.  We believe that if all women had access to early physical therapy, so many more would stick with their training plans.  Your physical therapist will give you strengthening and stretching exercises to meet your individual needs and may even help by making shoe recommendations, discussing the surface on which you run, and recommending subtle changes in your daily activities as needed.  This can be crucial to prevent injuries and pain, which often becomes a barrier when you are a new runner or when you start a new training program.  You will also have access to physical therapy ongoing throughout your eight weeks, should any pain symptoms arise.  This will allow you to address pain immediately and will help ensure that you are able to keep running!

3- Athlete Mentorship- We have built a large network across the United States (and the world) of strong, gritty female athletes.  Athletes range from Olympians to recreational runners.  You will be paired with a mentor based on your unique profile.  Your Athlete Mentor will encourage and support you throughout your journey.

4- Mindfulness Coaching- You will be given mindfulness challenges to build strength and grit in your mindset and help you make strides towards your goals.  Mindfulness training will focus on improving your ability to be purposeful with your training and your day-to-day and may even help you be more fully present and fulfilled in your life.

We want to see a world where every woman (regardless of shape, size, color, or ability) who might consider running is able to find her runner within and join our community.  We are confident that bringing more women to running will improve their lives in so many ways.

In order to ensure access and break barriers, we provide these service free of charge. Please head over to apply!

We are calling you to the pavement and to a life that exceeds your expectations. 

She ran and everything changed....

Yours in health, wellness and dream chasing,

The ARC Team



Most people are familiar with negative splits, where you run the 2nd half of your run or race faster than the first half. But a Progression Run is one where you gradually increase your pace throughout the run. This is a great run to add to your training when you're training for distances 10k and farther. It's great for building stamina and teaching your body to run faster the end of a race.

For most people, you want to start off at a conversational pace and each mile, increase your pace. It doesn't have to be a big increase, even 10-20 seconds per mile is great. It does take practice though, because you're learning to pace yourself. But when done properly, it goes a long way to helping you increase your speed and mental toughness!

Here's my Progression Run from late this morning to give you an idea. Happy running! Stay hydrated!

When doing speedwork intervals, always make sure you allow a recovery period after each interval. Long enough to get your heart rate down. Sometimes you have to adjust, like when it's crazy hot outside!

For example, today I decided to do one minute sprint intervals followed by 2 minutes of recovery. After jogging the first recovery, I decided to walk the remaining recoveries because of the effort I was putting out in the heat/humidity. I also slowed my speed pace because of the heat as well. Below is a screenshot of some of my intervals. I use a Garmin 235, so to record the intervals, I turn the Autolap OFF and press the Lap button after each interval. Most running watches have a similar feature.

Most beginning and even intermediate training schedules allow for walking some or all of the recovery. If you're training to improve your endurance, learn to jog as much of the recovery as you can by building up. So if your recovery is 2 minutes, you walk the first 30-45 seconds, then ease into a jog to go into the next speed interval. And always make sure you do a good warm up and cool down of 10 min - 2 miles, depending on the amount of intervals you're doing.

So don't feel like you're wimping out if you need to walk some of your recovery this summer. Just the fact that you're doing speedwork over the summer is amazing!



I've lived in Tampa, FL since getting married in 1991. I started running in the mid 90's and completed a few 5k's then my longest distance, a 15k in 1996.  Then I allowed life to get in the way and didn't run again until 12/08 when I was 40.  I started back with that same 15k in 2/09.  I ran my first Half Marathon in 11/09, then my first full marathon in 2/2010. Since that time, I've run 120 Half Marathons, 10 Full Marathons and countless other race distances.  I have been an active member of BGR since 2010 and was an Ambassador for Tampa 2013-2015. I started coaching people in 2011 and became certified thru RRCA and USATF in 2013.  Since then, I have coached hundreds of people virtually all over the country from their first 5k to their best marathon time.  I was honored to serve as the National Coach for BGR! for their WalkB4URUN Training program in 2017.  I'm married to an amazing runner as well, and was able to coach him to run the Boston Marathon this year. I love helping people reach new goals!  I especially love helping newer runners learn to get better and more confident!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          
Media Contact: Jay Ell Alexander | (757) 544-1170


 Black Girls RUN! Announces 5th Annual National Conference & Race in Philadelphia

 ~ Saturday’s post-race brunch features award-winner writer & speaker, Luvvie Ajayi ~

BGR! NATION (June 27, 2017) --- After four successful years of the Black Girls RUN! National Race and Conference weekend, Black Girls RUN! will host the 2017 Sweat With Your Sole in Philadelphia, September 29-30, 2017. 

“We are excited to bring our signature race and conference to Philadelphia this year” said Toni Carey, co-founder of Black Girls RUN!. “We have made this year’s conference two days, but still jam-packed with fun workshops, dynamic speakers and a great race route. Philadelphia is a great, neutral location to take a drive or fly in for the conference on Friday and you can be back home by Saturday evening.”

The weekend will kick off with a one-day conference starting at Noon on Friday, September 29. The conference will include interactive workshops with nationally recognized trainers and fitness instructors and speakers, and a vast amount of knowledge-sharing on running, health and nutrition. On Saturday, September 30 the weekend continues with a 5K and 10K run/walk beginning at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Following the race, the weekend will conclude with our Awards Brunch with award-winning writer and speaker, Luvvie Ajayi. We will recognize four national Black Girls RUN! Ambassadors and Run Coordinators during the brunch as well. 

“Having Luvvie Ajayi as our keynote this year is spectacular,” comments Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls RUN. “Her wittiness, intelligence and beauty is the epitome of what we do on the pavement each day... motivating each other through humor, humility, honesty and sometimes saying the things we do not want to hear. She will be a special touch to this year’s conference.”

The Sweat with Your Sole conference is open to Black Girls RUN! members and women who are interested in attending. Men and women are invited to attend the brunch and participate in the road race.

In previous years, Sweat With Your Sole has been hosted in Atlanta and Charlotte, bringing more than 3,500 men and women to the areas. In its inaugural year in 2012, Black Girls RUN! partnered with AARP, and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola to host its inaugural Black Girls RUN! and AARP Drive to End Hunger 5K/10K race, raising $22,000 to benefit AARP and Hosea Feed the Hungry.

For all “Sweat With Your Sole” conference and race updates, visit You can also follow Black Girls RUN! on Twitter at @BlackGirlsRUN, and Instagram @officialblackgirlsrun, or use the hashtag #SWYS17.


About Black Girls RUN!

Black Girls RUN! is a national running group launched in 2009 by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks. The organization has grown to include more than 70 running groups across the nation with more than 225,000 members. The group was created to combat the obesity epidemic among women in the African- American community and dispel the myth that black women do not run. The groups include beginner and experienced runners and provide a support system to help members reach their fitness goals. Black Girls RUN! provides a community and inspires all women to run. For more information about Black Girls RUN!, visit


I ran the T-Mobile Newport Liberty Half Marathon on Sunday, 20 September.  I showed up early to ensure that I found parking and the starting line in a timely manner.  Surprisingly enough, parking and the event was easy to locate.  The turn out was amazing.  Music and venders everywhere.  The air was filled with excitement and encouragement.  I felt very welcomed and comfortable.  I ran into some BGR! sisters that I had only communicated with through social media.  To fellowship in person was a real treat.  After checking my bag, I headed to the start line.  I felt ready and anxious to get the show on the road.  I trained for this, I was hydrated, and though I only lost 4 of the 10 pounds that I aimed for, I felt pretty confident that it would not hinder my performance. 


There was a countdown and the race began.  My thoughts were just keep it steady and keep it moving.  The run route was one of the most beautiful I have scene.  The run through the downtown area of Hoboken and through Liberty Park with views of the Statue of Liberty and the Verranzano Bridge were remarkable.  The scenery definitely kept my mind from thinking any negative thoughts.  People were pretty consistently placed and lined the entire run route to cheer on the runners.  There were a few dead spot where people were not located but very few.  Several of the BGR sisters had showed up to motivate and cheer us through until the end.  I appreciated seeing the ladies, the signs of encouragement, and hearing the tambourines.  I could tell they had done this several times before.  Around mile 9 and 10 I started to feel hotspots on my feet but I was able to push through until the finish with a time of 2:40.  I was aiming for 2:30, however, I am still proud of my accomplishment and my time.  After the run, there were refreshments to refuel our bodies and lots of giveaways and entertainment.  I stayed around to soak up and bask in the ambience of victoriously completing my second half marathon. 

I definitely plan to participate in the T-Mobile Newport Liberty Half Marathon again next year.  I hope to see you there.

Bambi Sharpe, BGR! North Jersey

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