Mirna is an ultra runner, author, speaker, and adventurer. Oh, and she’s also a mom, a coach, a diversity practitioner, and a musician. There’s nothing this woman can’t do.
Author of A Beautiful Work in Progress. Subject of Award-Winning REI Force of Nature Documentary "The Mirnavator". A 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
Raised in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn by a robust matriarch, Mirna grew up with a love of reading, sports and music. Mirna remembers being thin in 2nd grade, but filling out by the time she was 12 or 13. Her mother was obese and diabetic, and it seemed Mirna and her 3 siblings might follow suit. Mirna sang R&B with her mother and sister, taught herself the piano and soon impressed the music department at her school – who rewarded her budding talent with free piano and voice lessons.
Soon she was auditioning for Juilliard’s Pre-College Division program - an audition that she nailed! Throughout her high school years, her musical talent and her achievements on the field hockey and lacrosse teams complimented Mirna’s academic prowess.
Mirna accepted a scholarship to The Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Ohio, pursuing music and liberal arts. She majored in Spanish and vocal performance and kept physically active. She chose to pursue a career with KPMG working in the legal and consulting fields in New York City after graduation, met her husband (a native of Burkina Faso) and later took a job teaching music at the Masters School.
As work pressures, combined with a son who had joined the family and developed severe asthma, Mirna’s weight peaked at over 300lbs. A visit to the doctor and a diagnosis of morbid obesity prompted Mirna to sign up for a 5km run... and the rest, as they say, is history. Mirna’s obsession with running saved her life – and has inspired countless people around the world to do the same.
Joy is a Personal Trainer and all around superstar. She is a lover of trails runs, rock climbing, and feels most successful when she inspires others to believe in their ability to achieve their fitness goals. She has a real knack for bringing ladies together and making everyone around her stronger! When she's not working in nutrition research or personal training, you can find her reading a book, making a big salad, or hanging out in the woods with her husband and son. She’s one of those friends that always has a good story to tell, and she has an obsession with seltzer water, dark chocolate with sea salt, and the band Mandolin Orange. Most people recognize her by her hair (and her muscles)! #curlsandsguns
This girl is tough as nails. In 2018 she completed the Western States 100 miler and won the Mountain Masochist 50 miler. She’s one of the top ultra-runners in the southeast, and she’s not stopping anytime soon!
As an energetic child Rachel was signed up for every sport her mom could think of. Running and soccer stuck. After high school she thought that’s when people stopped running, but one year into college she missed it terribly and got back into running with her (now) husband.
She did some road racing in her 20s but really just liked the process of training, she and didn’t care for the racing as much. That is, until she stumbled upon trail running in 2011! Since then she has ran more ultra distance races that we can count, and her love of the trails in contagious! She’s as humble and kind as they come, and when she’s not running or adventuring, she’s painting, reading or snuggling with her husband and best trail dog buddy, Emmitt. She also makes really good gingerbread cookies.
Erin is the creator of Collectively Outside and Women’s Trailfest. She spends her days planning events for a local conservation organization, including river cleanups and environmental education field trips. She first explored the North Georgia mountains in 2015, and she’s been hooked on the area ever since. She found herself making frequent trips to the area, exploring, running races, and visiting family. She loves just about any activity that will get her outside, but trail running is her preferred way of adventuring. She feels most alive when surrounded by supportive women on the trails, and she is so excited for magic of Women’s Trailfest. She also really loves breakfast sandwiches, high fives, and awkward dance moves. Oh, and she also sweats alot.
Co-Creator of Latinxhikers
Adriana Garcia is a nature-loving, runner, backpacker, and ex-accountant that was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She grew up in a multiracial, Mormon family with two brothers, several cats, and an intense sense of curiosity that always had her exploring the woods behind her childhood home.
Throughout her youth and teenage years, she struggled with understanding her identity and where she fit in so she frequently escaped to what she knew best, the great outdoors. The outdoors provided her with a safe space and brought her that sense of belonging she yearned for. After years of spending time escaping to the outdoors, she realized she wanted to introduce its wonders to others. She'd always felt like it was a place that belonged to everyone.
So in August 2017, after a whirlwind trip to Arizona and Utah with a group of her friends, she joined forces with Luz Lituma on a project that would allow them to inspire others through their experiences of being WOC in the outdoors. That is when Latinxhikers was created. What once was just an Instagram initiative, is now a growing community within the southeast region.
Photo credit: Cherisa Hawkins
Cali Snider is the manager of Black Rock Mountain State Park, and she considers herself to be one happy camper. In less than three years, she landed her dream job of taking care of Georgia’s highest state park. Cali has been the park’s manager since the fall of 2018 and is looking forward to spending her career right above Clayton.
Originally from Tennessee, Snider received her bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation from Eastern Tennessee State University. Her first job out of college was assistant manager with Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, North Carolina before starting her career with Department of Natural Resources at Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp. From there, she served as assistant manager of Reed Bingham and Vogel State Parks.
In her career with DNR she has done more than she could have imagined including ATV training, Emergency Medical Rescue training, Hurricane Debris Clean up, chainsaw operating, and even crawling on roofs too get the job done. It is always something new and always an adventure!
Her hobbies include archery, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking and rafting, hiking, and just about anything someone suggests she try out. She also enjoys traveling with her fiancé - they recently took a trip to Norway!
Cali will be a guest at our Women Who Wander panel discussion on Saturday night!