EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW...

About how an anonymous fitness blogger created a worldwide community for plus size ladies who want to run.

HOW IT BEGAN

The Fat Girls Guide to Running was established in September 2010 when plus-sized runner Julie Creffield came last in a 10K race, to find the finish line packed up and everyone had gone home.

The blog which was only ever meant for her friends and family was supposed to keep her accountable and be a record of her journey as she trained for her first marathon in 2012, but what happened over the next few years was truly remarkable as bit by bit more plus-sized women started following the blog and saying “I run too”

In January 2013 after having her daughter Rose, Julie realized that not only would running help her get back in shape, she now knew that inspiring other overweight women to run too was what she was meant to be doing with her life…and she set about turning the blog into a business so she could do it fulltime.

Over the past decade she has particpated in more than 300 fitness events, in more than 15 countries, from ultramarathons to parkruns, triathlons to obstacle races.

And more than 10,000 women have taken part in her online challenges and coaching programmes.

Before setting up Too Fat to Run Julie worked for more than a decade, as a community engagement consultant, facilitator and artist, specialising in reaching hard to reach groups.

She managed a 10million pound sports programme for Young People in East London, formed a dance troupe of 100 old aged pensioners and helped with the recruitment of the 70,000 games makers when she worked on the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics. 

Throughout her career, she has always been interested in how we create a more level playing field and ensure that nobody is left behind.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

The Fat Girls Guide to Running was established in September 2010 when plus-sized runner Julie Creffield came last in a 10K race, to find the finish line packed up and everyone had gone home.

The blog which was only ever meant for her friends and family was supposed to keep her accountable and be a record of her journey as she trained for her first marathon in 2012, but what happened over the next few years was truly remarkable as bit by bit more plus-sized women started following the blog and saying “I run too”

In January 2013 after having her daughter Rose, Julie realized that not only would running help her get back in shape, she now knew that inspiring other overweight women to run too was what she was meant to be doing with her life…and she set about turning the blog into a business so she could do it fulltime.

Over the past decade she has particpated in more than 300 fitness events, in more than 15 countries, from ultramarathons to parkruns, triathlons to obstacle races.

And more than 10,000 women have taken part in her online challenges and coaching programmes.

Before setting up Too Fat to Run Julie worked for more than a decade, as a community engagement consultant, facilitator and artist, specialising in reaching hard to reach groups.

She managed a 10million pound sports programme for Young People in East London, formed a dance troupe of 100 old aged pensioners and helped with the recruitment of the 70,000 gamesmakers when she worked on the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics. 

Throughout her career she has always been interested in how we create a more level playing field and ensure that nobody is left behind.

OUR RAINBOW PHILOSOPHY

Plus size runners are not one big homogenous group…in fact many of our community don’t even like that term.

Not all larger runners are beginners, nor are we all on a weight loss journey. We have members in our community that are proud power walkers, and we have members that are ultra-marathon addicts, and everything in between.

Our motivation and reasons to run, and our challenges in accessing the sport are as diverse as our tastes in the running kit are.

The rainbow in our branding is a visual reminder for us not to make so many assumptions about people based on how they look and to be more inclusive and accepting of difference.

BLOG TO BUSINESS

Starting off selling merchandise and then books, the business then evolved into selling online programmes and hosting retreats in the UK and on the Greek Island of Rhodes, supporting more than 10,000 women to take up and enjoy the sport of running at the size that they are.

Julie has appeared on ITV’s This Morning, and in the media in more than 50 countries sharing the story of the Too Fat to Run movement, the blog has been read by millions worldwide, and played a part in changing the way that plus size fitness is viewed in the UK, influencing campaigns like This Girl Can and gaining the support of high profile sports people, politicians and influencers.

She has run 5 marathons, and taken part in more than 100 endurance races around the world including triathlons, mountain climbs, obstacle races and 24 hour ultramarathons, and worked with major brands such as Garmin, Cancer Research UK and Disney.

OUR RAINBOW PHILOSOPHY

Plus size runners are not one big homogenous group…in fact many of our community don’t even like that term.

Not all larger runners are beginners, nor are we all on a weight loss journey. We have members in our community that are proud power walkers, and we have members that are ultra-marathon addicts, and everything in between.

Our motivation and reasons to run, and our challenges in accessing the sport are as diverse as our tastes in running kit are.

The rainbow in our branding is a visual reminder for us not to make so many assumptions about people based on how they look and to be more inclusive and accepting of difference.

BLOG TO BUSINESS

The business began by selling branded merchandise and then books, before offering online programmes and hosting retreats in the UK and on the Greek Island of Rhodes.

Julie has appeared on ITV’s This Morning, on The Today Show and in the media in more than 50 countries sharing the story of the Too Fat to Run movement.

She also gives presentations at Universities and other organisations on the topics of wellbeing, sports development and entrepreneurship.

The blog has been read by millions worldwide, and played a part in changing the way that plus size fitness is viewed in the UK, influencing campaigns like This Girl Can and gaining the support of high profile sports people, politicians and influencers.

In 2018 with funding from Sport England, the Too Fat to Run methodology helped more than 1000 women in the London borough of Barking & Dagenham to take up running, with the creation of a documentary, and a “Nobody Left Behind” sharing of the research from the year long programme. 

Too Fat to Run has colaborated with major brands such as Garmin, Cancer Research UK and Disney, to challenge the misconceptions of plus size fitness. 

MARATHON TRAINING

Author of 11 self-published books, including The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running, Julie also now works as a motivational speaker and mindset coach, hosts a podcast called Bigger Than You and is a business mentor to other mission-led business owners.

In 2022, after a bit of a break from the sport due to the pandemic, she is back in training for the Sierra Leone Marathon where she will also be training 10 women to accompany her over the 26.2 miles in West Africa, while raising £100,000 for the charity Streetchild.

A DECADES WORTH OF RESOURCES

Author of 11 self-published books, including the bestseller, The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running, Julie has written more than 1000 articles about fitness, motivation and setting Big Fat Stupid Goals.

In 2018 she delivered a Tedx talk called “Living a Bigger Life” after working with 100 women on an online programmes that led research into the impact of the fear of judgement on women. 

Julie now works as a motivational speaker and mindset coach, hosts a podcast called Bigger Than You and is a business mentor to other mission-led business owners

 

AND WHAT'S NEXT...

In January 2022 after a “go slow” period during the pandemic. Too Fat to Run is back with a bit of a rebrand, and a new initiative called The Getting Back Out There Challenge, partnering with global charity StreetChild.

In June 2022, Julie and 10 ladies from the Too Fat to Run community will take part in The Sierra Leone Marathon in West Africa, while hoping to raise £100,000 for education programmes, and also inspiring and giving hope to the thousands of women who haven’t yet been able to make a return to sport.

THE COMMUNITY

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