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Mirna Valerio - “The Mirnavator” - Ultra Marathon Runner & National Geographic 2018 Adventurer

Tough Girl - Dr. Ghazala Ahmad-Mear - Surgeon for the NHS, Adventurer and only woman who walked with Robert Swan on the South Pole Energy Challenge in January 2018.

Mirna’s transformation into a long-distance runner happened slowly. It started with doing a mile at a time and then eventually she worked her way up to a 5-kilometer race. Then a 10K, which led to a half marathon, which led to her first marathon in 2011.

Mirna started her blog in 2011, Fat Girl Running while training for this marathon as a way to share stories with her friends and family. The blog is about being an active larger girl in a thinner world via the individual yet universal sport of running.

Mirna, uses the blog to write about her training routines, race experiences and obstacles that she faces as "an active larger girl in a thinner world.” Her personal accounts have helped her become a source of inspiration for other female athletes. "People took comfort in the fact that I was experiencing the same things that they were but I was still out there running. It didn't stop me.”

As her story grew, so did her running goals. Marathons turned into ultra-marathons. The longest race she has run so far is 100K; that's 62 miles. And she's not looking to slow down anytime soon. Mirna, continues to challenge stereotypes and inspires others to do the same.

Mirna’s ultimate running goal, is the Trans Rockies Race, which is a multi-stage, 6-day, 120-mile run through the Rocky Mountains!


"I think most people who are my size and in athletic pursuit, we exude something different. There is a joy in what we do and we love to spread that joy to other people. Especially if it motivates them and inspires them to be athletes."


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Show notes

  • Being based in the North Georgia Mountains

  • Preparing to move house back to New Jersey

  • Growing up in NYC

  • Being known as - Fat Girl Running & the Mirnavator

  • Blogging about being a larger women who runs

  • Representing plus sized women in athletics

  • Being sporty as a child

  • Why she started running in high school

  • Why she loves running

  • Making transitions from high school to college and from college to work

  • Having her son and how it changed her life

  • Being discouraged from sports by the adults in her life

  • Going after her first marathon

  • Starting the blog and wanting to share her adventures with her friends and family

  • Not wanting to focus on weightless

  • Training for the marathon while blogging

  • Dealing with a fractured ankle

  • Getting hooked on running and wanting to do more marathons

  • Dealing with the physical pain while running

  • Dealing with criticism about her size

  • Deciding to go after her first ultra marathon in 2012

  • What her training looks like

  • Working with a coach

  • Being invited to run at the Boston Marathon

  • Speed work!

  • Her mantra - “small steps - big distance”

  • The Boston Marathon - Taking it in 2 mile chunks

  • Fuelling her long runs and working on her nutrition

  • Dealing with chaffing

  • How her running has impacted on her friends and family

  • Spending time in Portugal doing a trail race

  • Dealing with a DNF

  • Dealign with the pressure of being a public figure while out running

  • Wanting to run a stage race in Colorado! The Trans Rockies Race

  • Saying yes to new opportunities

  • What’s she’s learnt from running these races and distances

  • Advice for other women

  • Why you should buy her book - A Beautiful Work in Progress


Social Media

Instagram @TheMirnavator

Facebook - @Mirna.Valerio


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