‘Fat Girl Running’ Blogger Shatters Stereotypes One Mile At A Time
Mirna Valerio, 39, does not fit the mold of a fitness buff, but she does what she loves: cross-country running. She is overweight and keeps a slow pace as she continually puts in mile after mile. She says when people see her running, they see “a fat girl running” and she’s comfortable with that label and even embraces it. When she started a runner’s blog in 2011, she appropriately titled it “Fat Girl Running.”
“I didn’t do much running before meeting Mirna,” said one, while another credited Valerio with “always getting us going.”
Normally, she jogs across the picturesque campus of the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, a prep school where she works as a voice teacher and coach of the cross country team.
“I love my body and I have learned that the more I love my body, the more I love myself, the healthier I am and I am a better person,” Mirna tells NBC Nightly News.
It was not until a July 2015 profile in Runner’s World, however, that she became a well-known figure in the running world. The article sent a flood of traffic to Valerio’s blog. Runners of all shapes, sizes, and genders expressed their solidarity and support.
Overnight, Valerio became the voice for a whole class of athlete. “I too am a 250 pound runner,” wrote one reader. “And examples like yours make that a little easier.”
“Mirna, you have no idea what you have done to inspire literally every woman, not just women of size, but every woman to get out there and accomplish and achieve,” wrote another.
Valerio’s accomplishments are impressive. Her own personal record is 35 miles, a run that took her more than 13 hours to complete. She admits it sounds crazy — doing anything for that long — but says she is drawn by a…