We recently sat down with Dominique Burton, Co-Founder + CEO of RUNGRL, and asked her some questions about this amazing organization!
“Gone are the days of not seeing ourselves in the sport. Gone are the days of our voices not being heard.“
– RUNGRL Founders
What inspired you (and your founders) to start RunGRL?
“Each of us is a runner. We’ve been running for years, different paces, different distances but we all felt the same way when it came to the lack of representation of Black women. There was and, there still is a gap in the industry. ‘Where are the Black women? And why aren’t people talking about the issues that pertain to us?!’
We recognized this need for 1) authenticity 2) a source of community, and 3) health resources. These resources are more important than ever since Black women (and their families) are suffering from health disparities at alarming rates in the U.S.
We sought out ways to fill that gap with the expertise of each founder and our community to further the mission and value of RUNGRL.”
Who and what is RunGRL and what is your main goal?
“Launched in 2018, RUNGRL is a digital media and event platform for Black women. It uses running as a vehicle to impact wellness in our community. By thoughtfully curating content and events that share our voices and our stories, we are changing the existing narrative on what it means to be a runner.
Our Goal: Create a community for the Black women distant runner.”
How has running changed your perspective on life and internal dialogue?
“Running has played a huge part in my life. I first started running consistently in DC with a new group of friends. It combines two of my favorite things, being social and being active. It is a win, win.
Over the years, my running goals have changed, and my perspective on the impact of running in my life has changed. My personal journey, the ups, and downs can also be tracked with my running performance. Have you ever needed to clear your head and found solace in a 5k run? Or have you had a great week, and it played a part in having an easier Saturday training long run? I use running as an outlet, as a way to release, and as a way to stay fit. It can be a love, and not much love, type of relationship. It humbles me, but also allows me to celebrate myself.”
If there’s one message you wanted the world to know about RunGRL and what it means (and looks like) to be a runner, what would it be?
“We want to normalize calling Black women runners. It will allow for more pathways to wellness if we do. Sis, you are a runner. Your pace and your size, does not determine the title. Even though we currently don’t see ourselves often in mainstream media, get used to the title, and confidently use it when talking about yourself.”
Have any of the RunGRL founders run in a Ragnar?
“We have not as a group or individually run a Ragnar race yet, but we at RUNGRLs are always up for a challenge.”