Ashley Hicks talks Black Girls Run’s Sweat With Your Sole Festival

Ashley Hicks

When Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey founded Black Girls Run in 2009, they realized there weren’t a lot of black women who were distance runners. “We thought it would be great to share information about our journey in health and fitness with our community, so we decided to blog,” shares Hicks.

Since Black Girls Run launched, 70 additional groups have sprung up across the U.S. “It’s pretty informal. The only rule is no men allowed,” Hicks says with a smile. “We have women who get together in any metropolitan city and run. You can go on the website, find a run in your area and go out and join the girls. Our biggest markets are Atlanta, Philadelphia, D.C., Dallas, Houston, L.A. and San Francisco and Bay Area, just to name a few.

In September, BGR is hosting Sweat With Your Sole, their annual race and conference that covers everything from “nutrition, to yoga, to simply working out,” explains the Columbia University graduate.

“Our big race is on Sunday, the 5K and 15K and we have the Best Post Race Party. It’s a big celebration after the race.”

The Sweat With Your Sole race is open to all skill levels. “Just like with our running groups, we say, ‘No one will be left behind.’ If you’re a walker, runner, jogger, wogger, definitely come out and participate. Even if this is your first race, you have plenty of time to get ready for the 5K, which is three miles. You can walk it at a 15-minute mile pace and still make good time,” she encourages.

What is her personal workout regimen?
“I work out three to four days at a minimum. Right now I am doing low mileage. It is like one to two miles per day and weight lifting. I usually run in my neighborhood. On any given day, you can see me on the BeltLine.

How does she maintain her hair?
“I have a routine. I wash my hair every three to four days and condition it really well to make sure it’s moisturized. For the most part, natural hair [can be managed] really [easily] when you work out.

What is her diet like?
“The most important thing to do is to eat clean. Eat whole foods and limit intake of refined foods. I always tell people it is a life of moderation. I would never be one to say, ‘Don’t ever eat ice cream and French fries again!’ It is really about balance. It’s knowing I can eat fries once a week, but I can’t eat them seven days a week.”

The Sweat With Your Sole Festival and Race (5K/15K) will be held in Atlanta at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis  Sept. 4-7, 2014. Visit for more information and to register.

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