The Walking Diva

I love meeting people and I consider myself to be a friendly and outgoing person. I especially love meeting new runners and hearing about races and past experiences. It’s always fun when someone surprises you with a great time, or some crazy distance run. So I mentioned yesterday that on my walk/run/jog/death march I met a woman named Yolanda.

This was when I was initially starting to feel my knee hurting not even two miles into the race yet. Well Yolanda was power walking by me and asked me how I was feeling and if I was okay. She was a very pretty black woman who was super fit and was hitting her stride power walking the trails. I thought to myself that I could probably walk with her so I walked along for a while hoping my knee would feel better. It didn’t and then the hills began. We walked along and we started talking. I am a big talking while running or walking in this case and I really enjoyed her company.

She told me about how she was a walker and I’m sure I muttered something about me becoming one after this race. She kept up a great pace though and really powered me up those hills. Our conversation came really easily and I had fun laughing with her and tackling the hills together.

She asked me about what races I’ve done and what I had coming up and I told her about taking the full marathon plunge in San Diego. She was very encouraging and then I asked her if she had ever walked a full marathon. She kind of laughed and she said yes. I asked her how many she had done. Then the craziest thing came out of her mouth. Last year I wanted to do 50 marathons for my 50th birthday. Honestly she looked like she was barely entering her 30s. So last year I did 50, plus I decided to tack on 15 more. So I finished last year with 65.


WHAT IN THE WORLD. Now many of you may not find this interesting at all but immediately this woman became my hero. She had walked 65 marathons in one year and was awarded the Prestigious Marathon Maniacs Maniac Female of the Year Award.

We continued to walk and talked about her races. Oh, the fact she had walked the Red Rock Marathon in Vegas on Saturday and drove back to LA and then was doing this 50k (30 miles) on Sunday. AMAZING. Hands down the most inspiring person that I could have possibly met in my life thus far.

She gave me an little bit of insight to her training and diet, her family life and injuries that she has over come, and allowed me to pester her with questions throughout the entire route. She was super encouraging to me as well, and told me about some of her races that she had done over the past year. Her perseverance and dedication to the sport of marathoning was amazing and to hear her share her stories was also very inspirational. I was happy that even though my knee didn’t hold up during the race as I had hoped, I was more than honored to even be able to walk with Yolanda.

She finished the year with 1,783.48 miles walked.


Proud to have met you Walking Diva!

Here’s a link to a story highlighting her achievements from her local city newspaper.


PS Yolanda if you are reading this.. Good luck on Thursday! :)

PPS I have tons of great and exciting news coming your way. Get ready!

in Uncategorized

44 Responses to The Walking Diva

  1. Bootchez says:

    Oh, wow! I think I saw this same woman walking the Death Valley 1/2 marathon late last year, she totally fits the description! I am way to absorbed in my own misery to talk to anyone while running, and it sounds like I really missed a great opportunity, live and learn . . .

  2. P.O.M. says:

    Very cool story. Sometimes it’s good to “slow down” and enjoy the people around you, huh?

  3. Milltini says:

    I just came across your blog via my real life best bud Bama Belle! This is an awesome story! I do have a question about your knees and running. I have always wanted to get into marathoning–or at least attempt a marthon–but i have major knee issues. i’ve never had a formal injury, but years of wear and tear thanks to gymnastics have taken their toll. I guess my question is this–what do you do to power through knee pain?

  4. Christine says:

    That is freakin awesome. Did she happen to tell you what her favorite races were? haha..check out my blog for more on that :)

  5. RunWithMe says:

    Damn! Yolanda is amazing. Better yet, how lucky that you came upon HER during the trial run. Thanks for sharing her inspiring story…

  6. Jamie says:

    That’s amazing! All this trying to build up my running I forget walking is hard work too. Especially over 1700 MILES! Crazy!

  7. aron says:

    WOW that is SO COOL!!! How awesome you got to meet her :)

  8. Janice {Run Far} says:

    she sounds marvelous.

  9. Megan says:

    Wow! What a wonderful story!

    Also want to say congrats to you for finishing such a strenuous trail run!

    I guess i’m sort of “delurking” myself. I read you blog often for running inspiration…and great finds on running gear of course ;-)

  10. Denise says:

    That is really amazing. Makes the trail race that much more worth it to meet someone like that.

  11. Glenn Jones says:

    One word – WOW!!!!!

  12. Bob Hazen says:

    Great read – if I did 65 in one year, I’d be broken down and dead broke. ;)

  13. RunningLaur says:

    Sorry your knee didn’t behave but it sounds like meeting Yolanda made it all worthwhile. It’s so great that you got to pick her brain through the whole thing!

  14. Run Saraah says:

    Wow that is truly an amazing accomplishment. She sounds like such a neat lady. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Marci says:

    Wow that is so awesome! I would love to have met her! When I go into the Insane Asylum at MManiacs, I can’t believe the number of marathons some members do! That is so inspirational!

  16. Nessa says:

    Talk about inspirational! It just goes to show you can dream at any age!!

  17. RunToFinish says:

    how wonderful to have someone put in your path right when you needed it! I can imagine the race would have been far different without her..she sounds pretty incredible!

  18. Brooke says:

    Incredible! Thanks for sharing this story… It’s such a motivator!!!

    And now I’m really excited to hear your news :)

  19. Wearing Mascara says:

    WOW! She is SO inspirational! How lucky that you got to meet her!!!!

    I’m excited to see what news you have :-)

    Oh and I’m running for an hour tomorrow! Longest ever… wish me luck!


  20. Meghan says:

    I need to be like Yolanda! Had an experience with Target today, thought of you!!

  21. runjen says:

    Wow! That is amazing! Yolanda needs a blog! What a cool experience for you to actually meet someone so interesting during a race.

  22. Oz Runner says:

    wow…how cool is that? what an amazing woman…pretty cool that you got to hang with her and pick her brain too…

  23. Nicole says:

    OMG! How freakin awesome! What a fun story to remember when your struggling through a tough run!! Thanks for sharing!

  24. N.D. says:

    that’s fantastic- what an inspiration!

  25. Alisa says:

    Holy crap…65 marathons!!!!


    That has got to be the coolest thing I’ve heard in awhile (oh…other than your impending news…hehe).

  26. Marathon Maritza says:

    What an absolutely awesome and inspirational story!! What a great opportunity to get to meet her and talk.

    Great story!

  27. ilovesteaks says:

    Marathon walkers are cool. I’ve walked with a few when I did my extra slow marathons. I think all marathoners have their own unique personal stories. But if you want to find out from the faster runners, you’ll have to talk to them after the race. :D

  28. jane in the waiting line says:

    oh my god. that woman is amazing.

  29. Borsch says:

    OMG! She sounds inspirational!

  30. Niki says:

    What an awesome lady! She must have been so motivating!!

  31. D10 says:

    That is crazy! How did she have the time to walk 65 marathons?!?! Good for her. Hope the knee starts feeling better.

  32. bb says:

    That…is amazing. I love the set-up she has for all her medals! I’m glad you got to meet someone inspiring like that!

  33. Manderz says:

    WOW, What an amazing woman. Truly inspiring!!

  34. ~Mrs. Guru~ says:

    Wow, that is so inspiring!

  35. Marlene says:

    OMG, what an amazing an inspirational story. So awesome that you met her!

  36. kristen says:

    Woowza. That is something. I’m glad you were able to meet her and be inspired so you could share that story with us.

  37. Tara says:

    what a wonderful and inspirational story! I can’t believe she did 65 marathons last year!! amazing :)

  38. X-Country2 says:

    Wow, that’s amazing! I wouldn’t have been able to shut up with the questions.

  39. lindsay says:

    wow she is amazing! 65 marathons!!! i almost think i’d rather run them so i wasn’t out there for as long, but she kind of sounds like her walking pace is faster than my running pace. :)

  40. Tara Gibson says:

    such an inspriring story! that girl is a super woman!

  41. J says:

    WOw that is such an awesome story!

  42. Angry Julie Monday says:

    WOW! That is really inspiring. I want to be just like her. Heck, I just want to be like you. I’m scared of doing a 1/2. That is true motivation.

  43. Run For Life says:

    Now that is the most awesome thing I have heard of in a long time!!! She sounds like a fabulous woman.

  44. Jill - GlossyVeneer says:

    I volunteered at the Red Rock Marathon last weekend. You’re totally right, I would never have guessed Yolanda is 50! She totally rocks, I’m so impressed.

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