Verna Volker

My name is Verna Volker and I am from the Navajo Nation.
My clans are Tódích'íi'nii (Bitterwater) nishlíi, Hashtl'ishnii (Mud People) bashishchiin, Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle) dashicheii, and Tó' áheedlíinii (Water Flows Together) dashinalí. 

I grew up in the Dzilnaoodilii area of New Mexico, but currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my husband and four children.  

In 2009, I started my running journey to lose weight, but it has turned into a quest to find out who I am internally. This journey has taken me from a newbie runner to a marathoner and to an ultra-marathoner.  My desire is to use my running to inspire others.  I will be running my longest distance of 100 miles at the end of October. 

I am also the founder of Native Women Running. An organization I created four years ago to draw visibility to Native Women Runners,  Not only are we drawing visibility but It has become a place for our women for inspiration, motivation and community in a virtual and in-person setting. Our virtual community existed before the pandemic, and has grown organically.  Four years ago, I simply shared stories of our native women so they could each have a platform.  I created a MMIW Virtual Event to bring awareness to our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women so that everyone could be a part of it. 

This year, Native Women Running has become a movement of representation, community, positivity and inspiration.  We are creating NWR teams at different race events from the Boston Marathon to as far as Canada. Our goal is to put our representation into action by showing up at these races.  Good partnership and sponsorship is key for our organization to provide these opportunities for our native women whether it’s travel expenses, race fees or accommodations.  We want to make it possible for our native women to be seen at road or trail races. 

Before starting NWR, I would glance through running magazines, running advertisements, or anything running related. I only saw the skinny, blonde, fast and beautiful runners. I wanted to change that narrative.  So I created something where native women runners could see themselves in this space.  

She/her/hers, Mom, Wife,

Founder of Native Women Running, Advocate,

Lily Trotters FLOCK Ambassador, Hoka Global Ambassador and Suunto Ambassador 

Help us support NWR with a purchase of NWR compression socks! All proceeds from NWR sock sales go directly to NWR to help fund their work.