The Dallas Marathon is Sunday, and whether you are running it for the first or 50th time, or watching from your balcony, we have stories of five amazing athletes, from right here in our neighborhood, to inspire you.

An almost-recovered Brandon Cumby ponders his upcoming 26.2-mile race: Danny Fulgencio

An almost-recovered Brandon Cumby ponders his upcoming 26.2-mile race. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio in 2012)

Brandon Cumby

While he was training for the 2011 Dallas Marathon, Cumby took a terrible tumble from a towering tree, an accident exacerbated by the fact that he was electrocuted on the way down. Yeah, his story is incredible (we even won an award for it, and prompted its retelling by several news outlets including this recent one by WFAA). That he lived, his doctor said, was a one in a hundred chance. Even as he lay in his hospital bed, delirious and in-and-out of consciousness, his family said he mumbled about the marathon. Running was a sort of therapy he needed, even though it hurt when he was just a few months removed from the accident, still broken and cut-up in places, 30 pounds underweight. At the end of 2013 he experienced another letdown when the Dallas Marathon was canceled. Frustrated yet determined, he ran a different marathon. He’s run three since. He also took up coaching and motivational speaking, because, duh! And this Sunday, he will finally have his opportunity to race the Dallas Marathon. “First time to hit the starting line on-time, in good shape, prepared for the race mentally and physically, and running solely for my own time goal or 3:50,” he tells us. His website is He says he’s “hoping to continue to run, motivate, and inspire as long as people care to listen.”

Submitted by Paris Sunio

Submitted by Paris Sunio

Paris Sunio

We wrote about this White Rock area dad in 2012. After a freak infection immobilized him for months and nearly killed him, he fought his way back to standing with a walker, to unassisted walking, then running. Though everyone called him crazy, he was determined to follow through with his dream to run the Chicago Marathon. It took him nearly five and a half hours to do it (that’s about two hours slower than his pre-illness goal), but just three months after lying on his near-death bed, with a 106 fever, unable to move without blinding pain, he ran that 26.2 miles. What’s more, a few weeks ago, Sunio completed his first full Ironman triathlon — that is, a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run — in Panama City Beach, Florida. “The finishing shoot at a full Ironman is like no other. It was an epic race and an epic day,” he says. Of course his family, little Elise and his wife Grace, was there to cheer him on. He created a blog to detail his experiences.

Dawn Grunnagle: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Dawn Grunnagle at White Rock Lake. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Dawn Grunnagle

Is on the road to the Olympics. We wrote about her earlier this year, after she qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon, which will take place in Los Angeles in 2016. Since, she has been racing and coaching the kids of SpeedKIDZ and SpeedKIDZ Elite. Her professional runner-coach website is live now, so fans can follow her training and racing leading up to the big day.

Nicole Studer and Shaheen Sattar, who will compete in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance run this month, are honorary queens of ultrarunning. Photo by Rasy Ran

Nicole Studer and Shaheen Sattar train for the Western States 100-Mile Endurance run. (Photo by Rasy Ran)

Nicole Kalogeropoulos and Shaheen Sattar

We wrote about Nicole and Shaheen as they prepared to tackle the Western States 100-mile endurance run this year. Nicole clocked the fastest-ever American time in a 100-mile trail run early this year. No huge surprise that later this year, she was named Ultra Trail Runner of the Year by the USA Track and Field’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council. Shaheen injured herself while running Western States, but in October she won the Tyler Rose marathon in Tyler, Texas.