NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A running group is battling the obesity epidemic in the black community.

Some members of the group Black Girls Run are participating in Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

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“I think our founder saw a need for black women empowering them to be fit,” said Melody Davis, of Brooklyn.

Davis said that in the last five years the group has gained 100,000 members nationwide.

Two years ago, Adrianne Jenkins, of Manhattan, couldn’t make it a mile.

“I never ran a day in my life before I joined Black Girls Run,” she said.

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“The love and support kept me coming back, and now this year is my very first marathon,” Jenkins added.

The group’s motto is “Preserve the Sexy.”

“What’s sexier than being healthy?” one member said.

“It all goes back to just being healthy and to maintain your fitness, and we choose to do it through running.” Davis said.

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