A few weeks ago, more than 50,000 people completed the New York City Marathon — a record-breaking number, making it the largest marathon ever held. Despite the fact that less than 1% of the world’s population runs marathons, there has been a recent surge in marathon participation, most notably, among black runners.

Noting that “black runners are changing the face of the sport,” the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted that, nationwide, the share of frequent runners who identified as African-American has surged to 8% from 1.6% in 2011, according to a survey by Running USA, an industry-backed group that tracks trends.

When we started the movement known as Harlem Run, we had no idea what to expect. Over the years, we have come to understand that we are shifting the culture of not only our neighborhood, Harlem, but also the world. 

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(Photo Credit: Harlem Run)

Runners World magazine has referred to us as ushering in the new “Harlem Runaissance,” and our presence has certainly made big waves; over the past few years, more than a handful of run groups/fitness programs have made Harlem their home thanks to the cultural shift we created.

We are happy to be so-called pioneers, changing the game, and present four stories from our very own game-changing marathoners...

To read the rest of the story on Harlem Run, you can do so here at Blavity.com