*ATLANTA, Georgia (WGCL) — People run on trails, roads, and sidewalks all across Metro Atlanta. But one group is encouraging women to always partner up before they hit the pavement. On Tuesday night, the Alpharetta chapter of Black Girls Run Atlanta (BGR) paired off into a group of walkers and runners before entering the tree-filled greenway at Preston Ridge Park in Atlanta.
Tammye Hughes leads the Alpharetta group that meets twice a week and says their motto is “no woman left behind.”
“We make sure that everyone who came returns before we depart the location,” Hughes said.
The group started as a way to encourage Black women to stay fit and active. But now BGR has grown into a network for all types of women across metro Atlanta that can meet early in the morning or late at night. No matter the schedule, it means no one has to run alone.
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Running and jogging safety is on the minds of many people following the recent abduction and murder of Eliza Fletcher in Memphis, Tennessee.
“You get up. You’re so used to placing your shoes on and putting your running attire on. You’re not expecting to be kidnapped,” Hughes said.
Hughes first learned about the Fletcher case while researching Memphis running groups on Facebook for an upcoming trip.
Surveillance video captured a man violently adducting Fletcher while she was out on an early morning jog.
“My heart just dropped when I saw the young lady that was kidnapped that morning. And I want to say sincere condolences to the family and the friends,” Hughes said.
Memphis Police located Fletcher’s body and positively identified it Tuesday morning.
Hughes says Fletcher’s death serves as a solemn reminder for women to be cautious on solo walks and runs and that there “is strength in numbers.”
Members of the BGR group told CBS46 that when winter hits and it gets darker earlier, they change their route to a more well-lit and well-traveled area.
Hughes said she also carries mace when she runs in the dark.
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