FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News followed a running group you may have spotted in Fort Worth’s Cowtown Marathon this past weekend. Black Girls Run! is a group of North Texas women who are on the move to get African American women healthy.
Of the thousands of runners at the Cowtown, dozens sported the colors black and pink and made a major statement about better health along the way.
“Eighty percent of African American women are overweight,” said runner Scymentress Williams. “We want to get out there and get them to move, and let them know they can do it.”
Williams is part of the national running movement Black Girls Run! The single mom stumbled upon the organization after losing 50 pounds one year ago and hitting the pavement to keep the weight off.
“When I first saw it I was extremely surprised there were so many black women running. When I found Black Girls Run! it was kinda like finding family,” Williams said excitedly, “women who were committed to better health. It was almost like a sisterhood.”
Amy Doughtry started running eight years ago to take off excess baby weight. She’s since completed two full marathons and eight half-marathons, even while battling breast cancer.
“Running was my way of showing myself I can still be healthy even thru all of this,” said Doughtry. “We try to encourage women that you can get our of your comfort zone and do more than you expect.”
On the group’s Facebook page members share inspiration and motivation to help them overcome what many say are common obstacles to exercise.
“The hair issue is always a concern for African American women. They don’t want their hair to get messed up, because you usually sweat when we work out. I say it’s better to have messed up hair than a messed up, unhealthy lifestyle,” Williams emphasized.
Both women say their healthier habits have changed everything.
“I’m just excited about life,” said Williams. “I’m excited about running. In fact, for the Cowtown I’m doing two races, one with my son and then the half-marathon Sunday.
Doughtry added, “You have to decide to be better for you.”
Some Black Girls Run! members who didn’t run in the Cowtown Marathon participated in neighborhood runs across DFW.