On Sunday morning, over 30,000 women competed in the 10th Annual Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, bringing together runners from across the country to raise money to fight leukemia and lymphoma.
Among these women included Black Girls Run!, a national collective of African American runners that compete in races to stop the growing obesity epidemic in communities of color while promoting healthy living and fitness.
“It’s inspiring to be around a talented group of runners,” said Anitra Smith, an Oakland runner and member of BGR!. “It also felt really good to challenge myself to conquer the hills of San Francisco for a good cause.”
The racestarted at 6:30 a.m. at Union Square, proceeding by the waterfront and through Golden Gate Park. Runners had a choice to run in either the full 26.2-mile marathon or the 13.1 half-marathon.
Many streets downtown were blocked, and the race didn’t finish until around 1:30 p.m. at the Great Highway near Lincoln Way. At the finishing line, runners were presented with necklaces from jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. decorated to commemorate the marathon.
Black Girls Run! was formed in 2009 by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks to encourage African-American women to make exercise and health awareness a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of African-American women are overweight.
BGR! wants to lower the percentage and number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.
Since 2004, more than 250,000 participated in the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.
To learn more about Black Girls Run! visit their website atwww.blackgirlsrun.com/.