Category Archives: BMR Blog

BMR Boston’s Serghino Rene: What Running Has Done for Him

Meet brother Serghino Rene; one of 4 vice-captains for Black Men Run’s Boston chapter.   His running journey  has taken him from his high school track team to his college track team to the brotherhood of Black Men Run. Being a very introverted kid, the track team helped him to break out of his shell. His confidence grew from there.  Serghino was also the captain of his college track team.


I fell into running by accident. I am a first generation American born of Haitian parents.  Haitian parents can be extremely strict. It was church and school for me.  There is very little socializing. I love what the Haitian culture has given me.  But feeling the confines of that, when I got the opportunity to join my high school track team, make friends, socialize – it was very different for me. I took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with my classmates outside of the classroom.  If it weren’t for running, I don’t know if I would be as social as I am now.


I joined Black Men Run-Boston during the outbreak of the 2020 Covid pandemic which is still with us.  I was introduced to this brotherhood by an old college friend and current vice-captain, Jeff Joseph.  I ran with BMR in their second week of existence.  Joseph reached out to me during the pandemic and mentioned that he and current captain, Jeff Davis, were looking to start a Boston chapter of Black Men Run.  I did let them know that I would join them if it was a safe space as I am an openly proud gay man. I could only join if it was a unit that could support me and not stigmatize me. Jeff assured me that the group would be a safe space.  The leadership set the tone for what the culture of the group is. I was also going through a major transition in my life and it was BMR Boston that allowed me to feel comfortable; being myself and also helping them build the chapter.  My family was there for me, my friends were there for me and BMR was there for me.

I also run with several other groups in the Boston area with a goal in mind of engaging the rest of the running community while promoting BMR.  I love that we are a plethora of backgrounds, experiences, cultures and beliefs but with a common theme of brotherhood.

Once I came on board with BMR Boston, I just really enjoyed the culture. Year one was our blue sky year. I started planning routes which would be historic lessons while we ran.  I love Black history. I would take the group to different parts of the city. When the Jeff’s saw my passion for running and being an extension of what they created, they said it just made sense to make me one of the vice-captains. I was honored that they chose me for this. I really love what I have been able to do for the chapter and myself.


Boston is different.  For a comparison, the first time I went to Atlanta, was in 2007 after college and I was in culture shock. I had never seen anything like it, just Black folks everywhere. I had never seen so many of us in one place everywhere you went. You do not see that in Boston. So I am used to the isolation and sometimes being the only Black person in the workplace. The running community has these groups most of which are majority white runners as they represent the region. A lot of Black men in the community don’t see people like them so they tend to avoid a lot of places. For me, just because I don’t see my face does not mean I am not going to certain spaces.

When BMR Boston debuted, people actually love seeing us. In the midst of covid, Black Lives Matter, etc., …..a group of Black men 5-plus running down the streets for their health, many in the Black neighborhoods were intrigued and enthused. Cars honk in support. BUT when we run thru spaces that aren’t predominantly Black, the feeling is kind of like…. ‘why are you guys here?’ We often get these puzzled looks.  Overall, Boston has accepted us.

Boston is the running capital of the country. There is something for everyone, the November Project, there’s Heartbreak Run, Midnight Runs, we did routes during Women’s history month. We have had groups dedicated to POC [people of color] but this is the first time we have had one dedicated to Black men. I wear my BMR gear when I run with other groups. I am meeting Black men that I ordinarily would not have met going through my day to day. BMR is an example of what Black Boston is. Its good to see who we all are and how we navigate some of the areas of Boston.


Serghino was selected as a 2023 Marathon Sports Ambassador.  What exactly does that mean?

We have a partnership with Fleet Feet. Boston Marathon Sports has been around a long time and is a subsidiary of Fleet Feet.  Captain Jeff Davis was speaking on a panel for another running group and we all came to support him. Someone reached out to me via LinkedIn looking to get more diverse perspectives onboard.  As an ambassador, I am myself, Serghino Rene, who runs with Black Men Run, plays in different lgbtq+ sports activities, and an alumni relations specialist. I put on 4 events over the course of a year on topics of my choosing. Its very new. This is fresh. Organizing the shakeout run. So I am thinking of topics that may appeal to a broad community; an opportunity to legitimize and share the BMR experience and show them ‘hey this is what a runner looks like in the community’ –

For someone contemplating coming out to a group run but they are on the fence about it, what would you say to them.

You know our motto, ‘no man land behind’  so just come as you are. We’ve been trying to create different avenues for people to meet us.  Wearing my gear and having someone ask me about it. Last year, we initiated some social events outside of running, so for someone not to sure about showing up to a group run, they may feel more comfortable at a social event, meeting us, and asking questions about running and what we do.

Boston is pretty lucky to have this brother!

James Hale – National Vice-Captain, Director of Communication and Co-Host of BMR’s The Healthy Brotherhood Show. –

Let’s Talk About Philly!

Lawrence Harrington – Captain for the Black Men Run Philadelphia chapter.

Allow me to introduce you to Lawrence Harrington, Captain for the Philadelphia chapter of Black Men Run. Additionally, Lawrence is also a member of Black Runners Connection and a proud active member of The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc. He is also a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Lawrence, what is your fitness background and what brought you to Black Men Run?

Believe it or not, I hated running. I did play basketball. It was my kids’ mother who got me into running. When she returned from military training, I started joining her on her workouts which included running. I started distance running in 2016. I would see BMR all the time on social media. I asked one of my frat brothers about the organization. I reached out to one of my fraternity brothers and asked him about the organization. Then in 2018 I met a member volunteering at a race expo. He invited me out to a group run. I learned so much from that one run and it made me want to continue coming back for the group runs. So, my very first run with BMR was Jan 1. 2019.

Lawrence has been serving as Philadelphia’s captain since 2020. He says, ‘I’m Still learning.’ The biggest challenge being captain has been keeping members consistent; some come out and then disappear. Encouraging the guys to continue to come out.  We average about 10-15 guys for our group runs. Of course, race day we have more guys show up.  We are out there in 7 degrees; we are out there in the snow.

Tell me about these Hood-2-Hood running events.

We recently joined up with another group, SwaggaHouse Run Club and started doing these Hood-2-Hood runs. This takes place during the summer months. We run through the neighborhoods, speak to kids about gun violence. We also hit up different businesses along the route. We try to show the kids, especially, something different. Its dangerous out here.  So, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, we run through several different neighborhoods. NBC 10 Philly News has covered our story and cause before, and others have reached out wanting to know how to be part of this movement. The kids love it, they join us and chant “DON’T SHOOT, SAVE THE YOUTH” – a popular chant you will hear from our people. We’ve had over 30 people show up for this from BMR, SwaggaHouse and others supporting.

*SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TO BROTHER CHRIS FITZGERALD* SwaggaHouse member, police officer and beloved BMR friend who recently lost his life to gun violence. R.I.P., brother*

What other events is the Philly chapter involved in?

We do an Annual MLK Service Project [January]. We collect clothes and shoes; we had over 125 pairs of sneakers donated to the homeless. My daughter and I also like to provide sandwiches and another group too. We appreciate being blessed to help serve our community.

Philly is a ‘running’ city. The Broad Street Run [first Sunday in May] is a 10 miler and the entire chapter participates in that – 20-30 brothers.  It’s different from most of our races because you are running through the neighborhoods, people are out cheering you on and giving you love and encouragement for the entire 10 miles. That’s one of the biggest races for us every year.   It is a lottery to get in but mostly everyone gets in.  It’s usually capped at 40K runners. At the end of the year, its marathon.

For Juneteenth, we do a big run through the city, highlighting some of the national historical landmarks. Afterwards we fellowship, grill out. It’s also Father’s Day.  We do 2 group runs each week. We are about to do a monthly Monday event for runners who don’t feel like they can keep up with us. This will be for beginners to get acclimated with where the group is. We literally run as a group. If we’re going 5 miles out, we may have a few stops, but we all stay together. When we say ‘No Man Left Behind’ we are all together. For a lot of chapters, it may be hard to do it this way. But this is really a fellowship and an opportunity to build the brotherhood on the local level. It’s a great time. We just have a party out there to make sure everyone feels included. We use our individual runs for training, but the group runs really is a group event.

Have you seen yourself grow as a captain?

Definitely! I tweaked a lot of things from when I first became captain up until now. I learned a lot from the previous captain. Prime example, I have changed our schedule which has allowed more members to participate. Initially I was doing a lot more.  So now I’ve learned to not take on so much and I allow the vice-caps to do more. They’ve been holding it down big time. Delegating and time-management has helped to make a change, as well as the input from the chapter. The entire chapter has been a blessing in this aspect.

I think for the people in our Facebook group is close to 300 but we get nowhere near that in group run participation. But the active members have started posting more. So, we look at the actual members who show up: that’s the real Philadelphia chapter.

September 2023 is Philly’s 10th anniversary so we will be celebrating: a 5k run, a BBQ, fellowship.  And of course, we will be in Atlanta for the BMR 10th Anniversary. Detroit was amazing and that’s got everyone hyped to get down to the ATL. We can talk about Detroit all day, but you really had to be there to get the full experience.

Me being in a fraternity, I see BMR taking it even further. We spend time with each other, we get to know each other, spend birthdays together. We do a lot from the brotherhood aspect. We really enjoy us.

Article by National Vice-Captain and

Director of Communications, James ‘JT’ Hale.