On her long-run training days, Nique says she notices how others respond to seeing her and her running group. To have a group of Black runners and diverse allies running together is something that is not often seen in many places.
“We run through the city streets, trails and through suburbs. To be seen by those we pass, putting in work together, really makes a statement,” says Nique.
But even with her long blonde locs and shaved, mohawk style, Nique is not a unicorn in the running world. The number of Black women in the sport of distance running is rapidly increasing and, thanks to platforms like RUNGRL, gaining visibility.
“RUNGRL is a platform to share the voices of others who may look like me but have unique stories of their own,” says Nique. “We wanted to create a safe space that represented not only us as a runner, but how that experience feels for us, as that representation seemed to be lacking in mainstream media.”
Nique refers to ‘The Nod’ she gives and receives in return when seeing another Black runner on the training route. It’s a sign of acknowledgement and solidarity between them, noting the mutual obstacles they’ve overcome prior to showing up on this occasion. During the first week of November in New York City, Nique is looking forward to seeing more than a handful of Black women participating in marathon events. She’ll see them in a variety of body types, ages and hairstyles, all queued up to take their place on the starting line.