Anita Cardinal is an ultra trail runner, advocate for the indigenous community, race director, and community builder who lives in Northwestern Canada in the beautiful city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

In her story, Anita gets into why running has been a powerful force in her life from a very early age, and how the impact of the sport continues to evolve for her.

A First Nations woman, Cardinal has a specific focus on empowering and honoring others in the indigenous community. She does this through the Indigenous Runner YEG (Edmonton) running group she founded, and through the Orange Shirt Day Walk/Run Every Child Matters events she created. These events, which take place on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, honor survivors of the notoriously abusive residential schools, as well as those who did not survive. Also, to quote Cardinal, these events are a time of “celebrating one another and recognizing that we are resilient and we are a community and we can move forward together in a good way while still always remembering.”

It is from this great base of empowerment and support and experience and resilience that Anita has been able to tackle the challenging running goals she sets for herself. Goals that she goes after because of the wisdom, healing, bonds, and confidence she gains through these experiences.

Most recently, Cardinal went after the 2023 100k race at the Javelina Jundred, an ultra trail event that takes place each year in Arizona, right around Halloween. This is the longest event Cardinal has entered, and this was her second time here, after having a DNF in 2022.

Cardinal ran Javelina as a member of the Native Women Running team, and this year, her race was both an incredible success, as well as a great redemption. Cardinal went through many ups and downs on her way to ultimately reaching the finish line.

She will tell you all about it, including how her son paced her to the finish line, inspiring her with just enough tough love to keep her going strong all the way through the final kilometers. Have some tissues at the ready.

Keep Up with Anita Cardinal

Instagram: @runswiththewind

Indigenous Runner and Orange Shirt Day Walk/Run Every Child Matters

Website, :

Instagram: @indigenousrunner


Mentioned in This Episode

Verna Volker

Instagram: @hozhorunner4

Native Women Running

Instagram: @nativewomenrunning


Verna Volker on WRS: Verna Volker: A Journey of Health and Healing, Culture and Community

Javelina Jundred

Instagram: @javelinajundred


Ways to Connect and Engage with Women’s Running Stories

Instagram: @womensrunningstories

Twitter: @WomenRunStories


Email host Cherie:

Women’s Running Stories is a member of the Evergreen network:

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