Fernanda Maciel

Ultra runner

Born in Brazil, now living in the Spanish Pyrenees, Fernanda is a highly respected endurance runner with a deep passion for protecting the environment and helping people in need. Running allows her to enjoy the silence of nature, to discover new places, and to explore sensations and emotions she cannot otherwise experience in daily life. But she is also determined to make a positive impact on the places she visits and likes her runs to carry strong social or environmental messages.

Quick Facts


Belo Horizonte, Brazil


Chamonix, France

Biggest dream

To be a positive role model for runners.

How do I focus

I observe the moment.

Best advice

The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give it away.

What inspires you?

The silence and also our huge and simple mother Earth: one little detail is a big detail.

Words to live by

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Favourite other fitness exercise

Road cycling

I don’t leave home without my...

The North Face pink Verto jacket – it is always in my pocket. And my green Thermoball - I train, go out and sleep in this jacket!



Top 5 career highlights

  • 1st TDS Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
  • 1st Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • 1st Transgrancanaria
  • 1st Ultra Trail Mont Fuji
  • 4th UTMB Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc


Fernanda was not your typical child. At the age of eight, in her home country of Brazil, she started competing in gymnastics, progressing to major international competitions just two years later. She then turned to capoeira and jiu-jitsu before finding running at 15. This was a turning point for young Fernanda. She loved the sense of freedom and adventure it brought and it wasn’t long before she started competing in adventure races. A few years later she switched to ultra running and enjoyed huge success right from the get-go, winning TDS Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2009, Transgrancanaria in 2012, Lavaredo Ultra Trail in 2011, the Everest Trail Race in 2013 and the Endurance Challenge Brazil in 2015.

But perhaps even more remarkable are Fernanda’s solo expeditions. In 2012 she became the first woman to run the Camino de Santiago (860km) in ten days. In 2016 she was the first woman to run up and down Aconcagua (6,962m) – a feat she completed in a staggering 22 hours, 52 minutes – and in 2017 she took to the mountains again to grab the women’s speed record for summiting and descending Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in a mind boggling 10 hours and six minutes.

More recently, in 2020 she tapped into her adventure racing background to combine running with climbing. With the help of rock climber and fellow The North Face athlete, Eneko Pou, Fernanda ran 90km (with 6,000m of elevation gain) from San Vincente de la Barquera to the base of Narango de Bulnes in Spain, where she then proceeded to climb 500m (grade 5b) to the summit.

However, Fernanda isn’t just an athlete. She’s also a qualified environmental lawyer and is passionate about protecting nature. In 2012, with her run of the Camino de Santiago, she initiated her White Flow project, a series of iconic runs that promote environmental and social issues around the world. Her latest was a fastest known time (FKT) for running up and down the Gran Paradiso in Italy.


2013, 2009, 2006

Go Outside Magazine Award: Best Athlete Outsider


Carreras Por Montana, Desnivel. Best Project of the Year: “White Flow”


The Best Adventure Athlete in Brazil (Brazilian Conference)


The Best Adventure Athlete in Brazil (Brazilian Conference)


The Best Adventure Athlete in Brazil (Brazilian Conference)

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A new fastest known time at the end of the world

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