Racing For Change

Throwing on a pair of running shoes and heading out the door is one of the cheapest, simplest forms of exercise. But when two college friends took up running to burn off some of the freshman 15-pound weight gain, their families and friends couldn’t relate.

“[They] would ask us what we were doing, and when we said ‘running,’ they would look baffled,” said Toni Carey. She started running shortly after graduating Middle Tennessee State University, inspired by watching her friend Ashley Hicks take up the sport. Both Carey and Hicks are African-American, and they say they also felt excluded at the races they attended.

“We would be the only black people there,” Carey says, “and we never got a warm welcome. It was like, ‘are you guys in the right place?'”

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