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Local Running Group Tackles Health Issues In Black Community

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By Jericka Duncan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Every Saturday morning, it becomes more clear, why dozens of women come together to exercise along Kelly Drive in Philadelphia. They want to improve the health of the most overweight and obese women in the country, black women.

Eyewitness News recently spent the morning with ‘Black Girls Run.’

“It saved my life, keeps me going,” said Deneen Young.

Members of ‘Black Girls Run’ will tell you, it’s a movement, that started as a blog in 2009 and evolved into a Facebook running group in over 70 cities. The one in Philadelphia was established last Spring. Anyone can join the group to organize runs, and share stories of inspiration. Deneen Young joined BGR last fall. The 46-year-old school teacher used to weigh 257 pounds at just 5ft. Within the past year, she’s lost 88 pounds. She credits her running group. They push her and she pays it forward.

“Coming across the finish line is emotional,” described Young. “But being able to run back and go get another sister… it’s powerful because I never in a million years, didn’t think I would be where I am today.”

Jaizelle Rome, who joined this month, didn’t think she would be here. But her fellow running mates extend a hand when she needs it, to let her know, she can do it!

“They remind me everyday that’s it’s my own race,” said Rome. “It’s for me and I should enjoy what I’m doing.”

The team is lead by Coach Leslie Marant who says by the summer, the group could have as many as 100 women gathering along Kelly Drive on Saturday morning.

For more information go to blackgirlsrun.com or search ‘Black Girls Run Philadelphia’ on Facebook.

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