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When one thinks of ultramarathon runners, the body type that comes to mind are the lean, mean, muscled machines possessed by the likes of David Goggins, Andrew Snope, Oz Pearlman and Nikki Kimball. But one ultrarunner is changing that…


After suffering health complications due to her weight, Mirna Valerio knew she needed a change in lifestyle. She dedicated herself to fitness and has spent the past eight years running marathons and ultramarathons across the state of Georgia and beyond.

Valerio has shed dozens and dozens of pounds, yet never transformed her body into the lithe lines normally associated with long-distance runners. Undeterred, she has just kept running, and running, and running to a healthy, happy and still-heavy state.


''No matter your age, if you’re in your forties like me, or ten, fourteen, thirty, or even sixty, your body is a beautiful work in progress.''

— Mirna Valerio

Most people will never run a marathon in their life, let alone an ultramarathon, but Valerio has run more than 10 events of each type, including the 100-kilometer Javelina Jundred in the Arizona desert. With every race, she’s on a mission to challenge assumptions about what it means to be a runner.

Ultramarathon runner Mirna Valerio

For a number of years Valerio maintained a blog entitled Fat Girl Running that documented her athletic endeavors and served as a source of inspiration for similarly stocky readers. These days, most of her writing appears in Women’s Running Magazine under the same moniker.


Valerio’s Instagram is a testament to her life on the move, with numerous photos of her running, hiking, climbing, lifting, swimming and more…