Name: Katie McHugh. Or Dinterbeast. I’ll answer to both.
Self-described age group: I’m timeless.
Residence: The Hill is Home.
Occupation: Pediatric oncology research nurse
Volunteer roles in the running world: I am an expert cowbell ringer and very proficient in vuvuzela blowing. I am also an exceptional relay van driver, and I will get the team to the next exchange on time no matter what ill directions I have been given.
How has your running changed in the last few weeks: I’ve whittled down to only one running partner: my one-year-old daughter, Molly.
Why you run: Because it’s fun, duh!
When did you get started running: I’d been a casual runner since high school, but I didn’t really come of age until I became a Knife Hand.
Have you taken a break from running: I did. And it was really, really hard. I made the difficult decision to stop running when I went through my last IVF treatment. That was a mentally and physically challenging time in my life. Running has always been a way for me to manage my anxiety and calm my mind. Not running made the process that much more difficult. I remember hating every single article I read that featured a pregnant runner easily cruising through daily miles. I’d read about strong women who ran through their pregnancy, and I felt that because I gave up running for that time in my life, I was not a strong woman. Running is also a social outlet for me, giving that up meant that I saw my running buddies less, and I felt even more lonely. Now I know that making that choice was my first lesson in motherhood. It was a sacrifice, but it was the best choice for me, my body, and my baby. Not running didn’t mean I wasn’t strong, not running meant that I was brave and aware and smart because I was taking care of myself. Now, I now have the best running partner ever and I wouldn’t change that for the world. And, I came back so much stronger than I expected! It’s taken hard work but I’m totally hauling ass with Molly giggling and kicking her tiny New Balance-covered feet in the running stroller in front of me.
Training shoe: I’m currently running in lavender New Balance Zante Pursuits. Molly is in light blue New Balance Toddler IPNRGv1s (she likes the advanced heel cushion support).
Coach or training group: Knife Hands!
The hardest race you’ve ever run: All my races are hard because I bring. it. every. time.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: Voluntarily getting into a van full of five strange men.
Running mentors: My dad. He’s a multi-marathoner, BQer, long distance cyclist, and damn good craftsman. I was always in awe of him growing up. When I became interested in running, he coached me through my first half, then through my first full, and then was my go-to for bike advice through my first half Ironman. He’s been my #1 cheerleader since the day I was born. Eventually, he’s going to teach me how to renovate a home, but I need to buy a house first.
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: My favorite local trail, which leads us to the next question…
Favorite local trail: Anacostia Riverwalk Trail – right outside my back door!
My best race was: I totally rocked the Shamrock back in 2015, but I mean, really, the best is yet to come.
Favorite local race: It used to be Ragnar DC, but they stopped hosting the wonderful Cumberland to DC trek last year.
Ideal post-run meal: Extra Large Pizza from We the Pizza. All to myself.
Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: I’m into anything Honey Stinger.
Pet peeve: Bad grammar.
Your advice for a new runner: Let me introduce you to Body Glide…
Favorite running book: The Lore of Running.
Song in your head during a run: Unfortunately, these days its Baby Shark. But my favorite playlist is my well-curated FEASTING playlist, because I feast in each roadkill left behind. Also, did I mention Knife Hands has it’s own DJ?
Have you dealt with a major injury: mmhmm, yes. It knocked me out of 2015 Richmond at mile 18. Damn the hamstring!!!
Running quote: My favorite motivational running quote actually comes from a 15-year-old Nike ad:
“I have thunder thighs.
And that’s a compliment
because they are strong
and though they are unwelcome
in the petite section
they are cheered on in marathons.
Fifty years from now
I’ll bounce a grandchild on my thunder thighs
and then I’ll go out for a run.
Just do it.”
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: The trails, the trails, the trails! There are just so many great places to run!
Ten years ago, a federal shutdown came in one of the busiest months for road racing,and nearly cancelled the Marine Corps Marathon.
Zoo Loop now closes at 5 p.m., Arlington Boulevard comments due Sept. 28, Kelati heading to world road racing championships.
After a nearly year-long hiatus, Pace the Nation has returned with St. Andrews graduate and Georgetown recruit Tinoda Matsatsa.
Keira D’Amato breaks the American record in the half marathon, Chantilly’s Sean McGorty makes the world 5k team and DDOT will hold a meeting on a new bridge to the Arboretum.
Be part of the original festive race for charity and signature Arthritis Foundation holiday event! Wear your favorite holiday attire and together, we’ll jingle all the way to a cure! Register as an individual or bring a team of friends,