Monday, September 17, 2012

Part 2 I did It!!!: Black Girls Run Conference and Race

I just returned from the Inaugural Black Girls Run Race to End Hunger Conference and Race weekend in Atlanta, GA. Words cannot describe how inspired, motivated, and rejuvenated I feel from this trip. Within three days I was immersed in love, sisterhood, fitness, and adventure all in one. But, before I tell you about my journey I must thank those who helped me get here

I usually do not like to bring up God publicly in an effort to respect others beliefs. But, in this case I have no choice because this experience had everything to do with God. I am grateful for every blessing, kind person, monetary donation, and warm heart I encountered through this process. I had a vision, I declared it and it was manifested just as I had seen it. With the help of my mother, father, aunt Sheila, uncle Rob, grandpa, friends Cecile, Jay, and Scott. I was able to attend this great event debt free.

Never in my life have I been surrounded by such beauty, success, health consciousness, and sisterhood among women. Hundreds of women poured in downtown Atlanta’s Sheraton Hotel for a once in a lifetime conference that discussed topics ranging from: Marathon preparation, speed training, hair care, and the psychology of a runner. We closed the educational day with an Honors Dinner in which Oldest Woman Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd was the keynote speaker.  It was an organized and beautiful ceremony and on top of that our pre-race dinner was delicious and suitable for every dietary need from Meat eater to vegan to gluten free. Following our eventful night, we ladies rushed to our beds for our beauty rest in prep for our race the next morning. At 7am the popular Atlantic Station was filled with over 4,000 runners (women and men) of BGR ready to  Race to End Hunger. Together we made history.  

Below are a host of pictures and anecdotes I want share with you about this great event.

At airport on my way to ATL

While waiting to board my flight I opened my favorite magazine: Oxygen to find my comment won letter of the month and I win $50 for it. It was a great way to begin my trip.

 I arrive in Atlanta to a wall of History. I stood there for several minutes reading and taking pictures. I felt very proud to see aspects of my peoples history showcased in such a public environment and in a positive manner. I loved it!!!

BGR Founders (from right) Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks with two friends at Friday Night Mixer

 Saturday's Workshops were posted on a screen by time, class, room. It was very organized and efficient.  We were to choose 4 workshops out of  10 workshops options. Guess what I chose to take?
Koya Webb's: "Foods you Love that Love you back"

Queen Sheba, Mari, Kevin, Stickman (from dead prez): "Psychology of a Runner"

Tina Klien:"Marathon Training: How to run a smart Race"

Green Salad lunch at hotel
 We had a two hour break in between workshops. I went to explore downtown Atlanta and not to my surprise there weren't any vegan options. So, I returned to the hotel for a green salad. I ate and read my Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine. My waitress was also very sweet she brought me two salads (one on the house) maybe she thought I would still be hungry :)
My conference gear

Honors Dinner looked so beautiful
Pre-Race Dinner

My plate: Veggies and Pasta
Dessert: Chocolate cup filled with fruit

Night before: Race Day Check-List: race bib, race shirt, fanny pack, wiki head band, ipod holder, earphones, peanut butter, apple, perfume (before race/don't take with), lip balm, water, wiki socks, towel.

6:30 am: Before the Race
Onika and I before race. I sat next to her on shuttle she was so sweet. She adopted me to her New York BGR team. 

New York Black Girls Run Team

After a very hilly 10k I completed it at 1:05
My Medal

There were so many people at the finish line cheering us on. It was so exciting.

Jorie from Chicago and I: we met in line while waiting for a complimentary massage.

The after race party was so fun. Imagine a football field full of Black Girl Runners taking pictures, dancing, singing, stretching, getting massages and just having a great time. We danced the wobble, the BUTT, and the dougie as a group. We even took it way back and made a HUGE Soul Train line. It was so fun and beautiful. I am glad I went and now I am even more dedicated than ever to fitness and sisterhood. Thank you Black Girls Run!!!

After a fun filled weekend, a 10k race, new friends, good food, and 2 flights later I am back in Cali

 I also go to meet two of role models which were major reasons why I decided to go to ATL.

Koya Webb and I
Ernestine Shepherd and I (not a great picture, I don't have a flash, but its something)

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