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Mirna Valerio Returns: Shattering Stereotypes, Redefining Running & Confronting Racism in The Outdoors

By August 3, 2020January 16th, 2024No Comments
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Episode #536



When you hear the words “professional runner” what image pops into your head?

Most likely it’s some version of a skinny white male in tiny shorts.

Let’s just say Mirna Valerio is here to smash that stereotype — and completely redefine what it means to be an accomplished endurance athlete.

She’s not White. She’s not a dude. And she isn’t skinny.

She is a total badass of her own design.

Back for a long-awaited sequel to RRP #340, Mirna is back to drop truth bombs left and right on all things body inclusion, identity, and diversity in the outdoors.

It's always a surprise to me that there are people who run that don't think they're runners. If you use your body for running and it's something you do regularly, then you are a runner.

Mirna Valerio

For those new to Mirna, aka the force of nature affectionately known as The Mirnavator, she is one of the most inspirational athletes I have ever met — a true ambassador of sport on a mission to empower humans of all shapes, sizes, colors and genders to proudly embrace their bodies, expand their horizons, and own their personal truth.

Today’s conversation picks up where we last left off, spanning her evolution into a full-time sponsored running professional to her work as as a diversity and inclusion educator.

We talk about identity, and the way in which we see ourselves as the lens through which we interpret the world.

We discuss the difference between body inclusion versus body positivity and acceptance.

When you don’t acknowledge that racism actually exists–that my experience may be different from yours because I’m black and you are white–then you are absolutely perpetuating racism.


We talk about everyday racism in the outdoor world and industry–and the work required to assess and overcome our own internalized unconscious beliefs.

And it’s about defining your values and embodying them in your actions–day in and day out.

Mirna’s joyful self-acceptance is both real and rare. It’s authentic and bold. And it’s as infectious as it is inclusive. She is totally unapologetic, far from sheepish, and 100% herself.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I must confess: after almost 130 days in relative quarantine, melancholy has crept up on me. But there is something about Mirna’s gleeful demeanor that cheered me up.

I think she will cheer you up as well. Enjoy!

Peace + Plants,

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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; and theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.