She’s famous on the Internets. A picture she took of this guy has been shared on every social media platform out there. And even though she has fans all over the country, I’m pretty sure being featured on See Glenn Run is up there with her famedom. Folks, say hello to Danielle Hastings (better known as T-Rex Runner).
I think I stumbled upon Danielle’s blog via Dan or Otter. But we didn’t meet until around mile 10 of last year’s Marine Corps Marathon. I looked up and saw a woman standing on the side of the road holding up a sign for T-Rex Runner. I gleefully called out that I followed that blog, and she responded with an excited, “She’s right behind you!” And there was Danielle. In fact, I make an appearance in one of the photos from her recap (and I didn’t notice until a friend pointed it out). Anyway, here’s my Profiles in Running entry on T-Rex Runner. If you’re one of the three people not already following her blog, do it now.
We could all read your blog to find out why you call yourself the T-Rex Runner, but I’m guessing most people (like myself) are lazy. Can you just tell us here instead how you came up with the moniker?
I had been thinking about starting a blog for a while, but I could never come up with a name that I really liked. Then I saw a picture of myself from the 2011 Baltimore Marathon, and I immediately thought I looked like a T-Rex – big, muscular legs and tiny skinny arms! My first thought was “T-Rex Runner! Wait…that’s pretty catchy!” and the rest is history. Of course, looking at that picture now, I don’t think I look like a T-Rex at all, but whatever. Too late now.
Tell us a little bit about your goals and the whole point of your blog.
I decided I wanted to run a marathon in every state before I turned 30 – I figured I might have some actual responsibilities by then that would hinder me if I tried to do it later, so better to get it done now. By about my 3rd marathon, I started having trouble remembering the details from every race. It occurred to me that if things were getting blurry already, I would be in trouble down the road, so I wanted to write everything down so I’d remember it when all was said and done. I never thought anyone would read it except my mom, and I didn’t write it with the intentions of building an audience. It’s kind of cool that I have one now, though!
You’re a Marathon Maniac, right? Do you have marathon BFFs you seek out at races?
I am! It’s the best club. I run almost every race with my training partner (who is also one of my best friends), Amanda, but there are always lots of people I know at each race. I’ve been fortunate to make many friends over the past couple of years, so I’m never alone at races. It’s one of the many benefits of that sweet yellow singlet, besides the obvious benefit of looking really fly all the time.
How did you get to have such a popular blog? Do you think it has anything to do with your luxurious hair?
I mean, the luxurious hair obviously plays a large role. My hair should really have its own Twitter account. In all seriousness, I don’t know why my blog is as popular as it is. If I had to guess, I would say it’s because I’m a very honest writer and I’m true to myself. I don’t write what I think people want to read – I write what I want to say. I think people appreciate the honesty and of course, the sarcasm, but also, I think there’s a bit of escapism there as well. I fortunate to live a very charmed life with all of the travel and adventures that I’m able to do, and I like to think people find it interesting. Some of the blogs I’ve personally been most captivated by are those were the writers are doing things that I wish I could do too!
Your entries usually have me crying with laughter, but you’ve also written about a serious topic – eating disorders. Why was it important for you to cover this?
After spending the past 11 years of my life dealing with my eating disorder, I realized that it’s something that very few people can begin to understand unless they’ve suffered too. There are tons of jokes made about eating disorders simply because people are ignorant about the causes and the recovery required. I’m lucky enough to have a platform from which I can help educate people, and it occurred to me that my experience could become something positive. I’ve been blown away by the response I’ve received. I wrote it hoping to help other people, and I ended up helping myself too. It’s been an amazing experience, and it’s some of the most personal and important writing I can ever imagine doing. [Editor’s note: Read the full series of posts here.]
Do you think there will still be marathons after the zombie apocalypse?
I kind of hate the whole zombie apocalypse thing. It’s nothing personal to zombies, I just never really got into all the super natural stuff – vampires, zombies, whatever. I don’t understand why it’s suddenly a thing. So I’ll say that yes, there will still be marathons, because I will kill every zombie in 5 minutes because I’m so annoyed by them. [Editor’s note: Whaaaaaa? T-Rex doesn’t like zombies?]
I always ask these questions, but I like the answers and it’s my blog, so I do what I want. What’s your favorite race of all time and why? Please don’t respond with something like, “I love them all and they’re all my favorite and rainbows and unicorns.” We all know you have a favorite.
They’re certainly not all my favorite! T-Rex has high standards. My absolute favorite race, hands down, is the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon. I actually just went back this past weekend and did it for the second year in a row, and I’ll do it every year from now on as long as I am able. The race has such a fun and interesting theme (the Hatfield-McCoy feud), it runs through tiny towns in both Kentucky and West Virginia, and the course support and organization is unmatched. It’s the most fun you’ll have over 26.2 (or 13.1) miles, guaranteed.
And what’s your least favorite and why? Same caveat as above. One of them was bound to suck.
Here’s the thing – I research my races really thoroughly, so I really don’t ever run any that are totally awful. I know that’s not the answer you want to hear, but it’s true. That being said, the race I was the least enthusiastic about was the Sioux Falls Marathon. There was nothing horribly wrong with it, it just wasn’t that exciting. I want exciting! That being said, my friends enjoyed it, so maybe I was just grumpy that day. Definitely a possibility.
*All photos courtesy of Danielle Hastings.