Runner Interview: Dani Moreno – Team USA

Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & Kale
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Interview with Dani Moreno


  • Santa Barbara, California, USA

 Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & Kale

When and why did you start running?

I started running in middle school. We would do this half mile test each week on the grass, and I was always trying to beat all the boys in my grade. Eventually, it got to the point where I was trying to beat everyone in the whole school! One of my PE teachers really encouraged my parents to put me in a track club in my 8th-grade year, and the rest is history.

Describe your ideal race?

My ideal race would probably have to be a 21k on a trail with rolling hills and technical downhills. The elevation between 3000 and 6000ft. Water crossings, waterfalls, and wet dirt would be a must, as well as light fog and a slight mist. Most importantly though, it would have to end with you finishing in a crowd of puppies who all licked your face as you finished, along with free kombucha and breakfast burritos. ( this race is fictional, but hopefully not for long!) 😀

Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & Kale

What’s your favorite trail race to date, and why?

I have a few favorites but out of the ones I have done thus far the Lake Padden Trail Half in Washington has been my favorite. It was wet, and raining when I ran it but it was a ball of fun. It was very runnable and the downhills were my favorite types of downhills, a little rocky, and lots of tree roots, so it requires you to dance a bit to navigate it well. What was most fun was a HUGE fallen tree which required you to hurdle, jump, or hop, it really added a fun element to the race!

My ideal race would probably have to be a 21k on a trail with rolling hills and technical downhills. The elevation between 3000 and 6000ft. Water crossings, waterfalls, and wet dirt would be a must, as well as light fog and a slight mist.

Congratulations on recently making it into the Team USA Trail Team, such a great achievement! What sort of process did you have to go through to make it in?

Thank you! I basically just had to have a great racing resume, which meant I had to race well consistently! It took a lot of work over the last year and I felt honored to be selected to the team still being very new to the sport.

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Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & KaleWhat has been your biggest running / adventure challenge to date?

My biggest running challenge to date was preparing for the World Long Distance Championship. I would definitely consider that my best distances to race are between 15-25k and so preparing for a 32k with close to 10k in climbing alone was a daunting task. But nevertheless, I committed and took on the training. The 3-4 hour long runs were definitely the hardest, but now looking back I have gained so much confidence not only from the race but the training and I am more confident in what I can do as I continue to progress in the sport.

Thank you! I basically just had to have a great racing resume, which meant I had to race well consistently! It took a lot of work over the last year and I felt honored to be selected to the team still being very new to the sport.

We noticed you live in Santa Barbara, did you know thatís one of our favourite places on earth? What do you love most about living there and what are your favourite local trails?

I love Santa Barbara because you can pretty much do anything your heart desires when it comes to the outdoor space. We have the ocean AND mountains and everything in between. Our trails truly are amazing and great training for climbing as you gain a lot elevation in a short amount of time. For me, my favorite trail changes all the time but currently it is Cold Springs Trail. It always has a couple of waterfalls and is very covered compared to other Santa Barbara trails. It also has fire road and singletrack which makes for a fun mix during runs!

[Now that we have moved to California, maybe we can join you on some of your favorite SB trails, you may need to go a bit slower for us though haha.]

Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & KaleTell us about your greatest running fail (we’ve all had – or will have – them at some point!)

HAHA. My biggest running fail was when I raced the La Sportiva Cup Final last year in Park City Utah. I still had never ran with fuel or water by that point and didn’t understand the importance of it or that it was even necessary. The race as a 14mile race where we climbed from 8,000ft to 10,000ft and then came back down to 8000ft. I felt good during the climb but when I started running fast on the downhill I started experiencing the worst cramps in my life! I had never had cramps during a race so I really had no idea what was even going on. I started walking, I pulled over to the side to try and breathe, but everything I did wouldn’t work. I felt so clueless how to make them go away. Lol. I eventually got to an aid station and drank water and felt better but it definitely was a huge learning experience!LOL, unfortunately, the same thing had to happen to me in two other races following before I actually learned the lesson.

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Our Favorite Accessories

[On a less elite scale I encountered the same experiences with cramp. Salt Stick salt tablets were my saviour]

Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & KaleWhat is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan?

I am much more relaxed and attentive to my body in my training than I was in college., which I think has helped me a lot. Before I would be obsessed with running certain pace for every run and workout, even when it was evident my body was overly tired. Above all of that, I also have a coach who is amazing and provides me with my mileage and workouts.

My biggest running challenge to date was preparing for the World Long Distance Championship.

What advice would you give to a new trail runner?

Honestly just have fun. It is such an amazing sport and just finishing a race is a great accomplishment. Also, if you can, buy trail running shoes because they actually make a huge difference!!

[Check out our gear reviews for ideas! We have many reviews on popular trail shoes]

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What is your favourite bit of running kit?

My favorite bit of running kit hands down are my Mountain Climber shorts by my apparel sponsor rabbit. (runinrabbit.com) . They are so comfortable, light, and easy to clean itís ridiculous. Soon as they came out with them I ordered 5 more pairs- they are that amazing. You can use DANIRUNSVERT for 20% online at their store.

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Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & KaleWhat challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?

I am stoked on my schedule for the rest of the year, especially because a rock climbing accident put me behind my training in the spring which didn’t allow me to race in all the summer races I wanted to. Next up I have a few half marathons, one in San Luis Obispo, and then another in Wisconsin. After that, I will do a few local races and then end with a race in Hawaii in early December.

What’s your favourite running/adventure book?

Gosh, that ís hard! But I would have to say any Falcon guide is my favorite adventure book. I love books and have an extensive library, so whenever I am going somewhere new I will buy a book about the place I am going. I do this not only to be well studied about where I am going or what I am doing but also so when I am older I can go back and read the books and revisit all the places I have been.

Dani Moreno Runner Interview Trail & KaleFinally, what do you get up to in life when you’re not running or adventuring?

When I am not running I try to do all zee things!!! I snowboard, climb, canyoneering, do fun stuff in the ocean, motorcycle ride, anything and everything I can! I love doing all sorts of activities as I feel that it really does help my running physically and mentally. But also just because all of these activities are super fun!!!!

 


 

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Thank you, Dani for giving us an insight into your racing life at an elite level. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the racing years to come. Good luck with the rest of your races in 2017; Hawaii will be AMAZING!

Hopefully see you soon for a run in Santa Barbara!

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Happy Trails!

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