Mirna Valerio, nationally-recognized ultramarathoner and author of "Fat girl running" blog to kick-off Providence Heart to Start 2017

November 02, 2017

WHAT: Inspirational ultramarathoner, blogger and author kicks off 6th annual Heart to Start, Providence’s free “couch to 5K” training program.

WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7

Basecamp Cardiac Prevention + Wellness
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center/Mother Joseph Plaza
9427 SW Barnes Rd.
Portland, Ore.

DETAILS: Known as the Fat Girl Running blogger and called “The Mirnavator”, nationally recognized ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio will help kick off Providence Heart Institute’s sixth annual Heart to Start - a free “couch to 5K” training program.

Valerio’s story of courage and determination begins in 2008 when, after a four year hiatus from running, she weighed more than 300 pounds. Her doctor told her she wouldn’t live to see her son grow up if she didn’t lose weight. Valerio has been running ever since and has crossed the finish line of dozens of runs – including nine marathons and nine ultramarathons. Valerio’s blog and Facebook pages are an inspiration to runners and walkers of all shapes and abilities who post comments and photos thanking her for her messages of self-acceptance, self-love and living life to its fullest. She was recently featured in an REI documentary. And last month, Valerio published her first book, A Beautiful Work in Progress.

Since 2012, Heart to Start, led by James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist with Providence Heart Institute, has inspired hundreds of people run their first 5K and set goals of becoming healthier. Heart to Starters have gone on to climb mountains, run ultramarathons and some have reversed medical conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

This year’s kickoff night will include interactive wellness stations encouraging participants to:

  • Know your numbers: Get your blood pressure checked.
  • Be mindful: Participate in a short yoga flow or guided meditation.
  • Heal it Forward: Learn about group volunteer opportunities in the community.
  • Have the Heart to Start: Register for the sixth season of Heart to Start.

Those who register for Heart to Start on kick off night will receive a free T-shirt. The evening will end with a book signing by Valerio. To learn more about the free 12-week training program, join the Facebook community or visit https://welcometobasecamp.org/hearttostart/.