Julie Creffield’s Journey of Health and Happiness
When Julie Creffield hits the streets for the TCS New York City Marathon, the 40-year-old London native will likely sport a shirt emblazoned with the question “Too Fat to Run?” That cheeky slogan has its origins in a comment her doctor made when Creffield was training for the 2012 London Marathon, her first 26.2-miler. She finished that race—and two more, in 2014 and 2016—and now she wants other plus-sized women to know they can do the same.
Helping to Inspire Others
Back in 2003, when Creffield agreed to join a colleague for a 3K fun run, she never would have envisioned running marathons. Weighing nearly 280 pounds, she became breathless and had to pause after 30 seconds. A spectator yelled, “Run, fatty, run!” as she shuffled by. She ran only sporadically over the next six or seven years until she eventually joined a running club, signed up for that first marathon, and got serious about her training.
Along the way, Creffield created The Fat Girls’ Guide to Running, a popular blog brimming with her trademark wit, and The Clubhouse, billed as “a virtual running club for plus-sized women where we focus on health and happiness, not speed or distance.” She’s also written numerous books and launched a career as a life coach.
“I always enjoyed helping people to change their lives and be the best version of themselves,” says Creffield. “It was seeing how I helped women in the running world that gave me the confidence to help them in other ways.”
Having heard about the TCS New York City Marathon’s festive atmosphere, Creffield made it her goal to run the five boroughs in 2018, the year she turned 40. She earned a spot via the drawing and somehow found time to train despite being a single mother with her own business.
Creffield had initially hoped to organize a group trip to NYC for Clubhouse members, but the logistics proved daunting, so instead, she’s traveling solo and sharing a hotel room with some fellow marathoners who follow her blog.
“Through my work, I want to show women that it’s OK to dream big, that they can achieve things they never thought imaginable and live a life full of adventure, and that women don’t need to be defined by their size or how they look,” she says. “Health and happiness is so much more than what size jeans you wear.”