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Derek Thunder Hawk

Tell us a bit about yourself, where do you live, what do you do for fun, etc.
My name is Derek Thunder Hawk, I live outside of Kyle SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Well for fun I enjoy doing training runs, I may not be the fastest but I’m learning how to run and working on my endurance Considering in 2021 I was nearing 300lbs and a time for change was needed, when I was in my teens I ran the Los Angeles Marathon twice. In my personal search of finding meaning I found the joy again in running and started running marathons By the end of 2023 I completed my running season with 11 marathons and proud to say I completed the triple dog dare challenge twice and of course for the 2024 season I’ll be going for my third triple dog dare but making it more challenging by doing my first 100 miler in the lean horse ultra
If you had $5,000 to spend at a running store but only 5 minutes to spend it, what few things would you grab first? 
At least 4 pairs of shoes of size 12, running gear for the winter time, and gels
What’s your go-to running outfit?
Depends on the weather, mainly shorts and a shirt when the weather is good, when It comes to run events I mean no one cares what you wear as long as you’re comfortable
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
What I love about the running community is that when one struggles especially during the marathons we always pick each other up and by seeing that many times “I didn’t come this far to give up and neither did you”
Any pre run or pre race habits?
Stretching and jumping around cause it’s exciting to get the legs primed to go, from training to run events especially in a crowd cause of the excitement to run with others and before the official start you’ll see me giving a fist bump to others around me and saying good luck
What’s one of the best running related investments you’ve made?
A calendar that was like 6 bucks from Walmart. Putting my running schedule on there helped me visualize what I can do and how much training I need I’ve already got my calendar set for 2024
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever seen or done while on a run?
It was at the start of the deadwood Mickelson where I was telling this couple to just take your time for the first 14 miles cause it goes uphill and they said we’ll be fine and by the time it was mile 16 I caught up to them and they was like we should have listened. We kept pace for a bit but they was burnt saying we should have done the half
Toughest race you’ve ever done? Why?
I’ve done lean horse 30 for 2 years and it’s just one section, that 1 mile up hill before the crazy horse monument tunnel, that grade alone humbles you but it makes you stronger. It’s just the build up from oreville checkpoint cause your all refreshed and refilled but once you cross under the road you start feeling the trail going upward. Everything else at lean horse is manageable but that damn hill lol Now I got to look forward to that hill during the Lean Horse 100 in 2024
What advice would you give to a new runner? What advice should they ignore?
if it’s your first marathon just keep moving heck even walking is a pace don’t worry about running the whole time. Quit comparing times to other runners, eventually your time will come, just have fun with the run.
What, if anything, do you listen to while running?
Any music is fine with me or I listen to zombies run app which turns my run into a game
What’s one running item you think is a gimmick and won’t buy?
Arm bands that can’t hold a phone with a phone case
If you could go run with any living or dead historical figure, who would it be and why?
Jim Thorpe, as a native it would an honor just to do a training run