We caught up with a few athletes who have graced Advocate’s pages in the past (it wasn’t easy, and we are out of breath).
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. We won an award for our coverage of the story back in 2013. 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. And this past December he finally had 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 (he missed the goal by just a few minutes). His website is brandoncumby.com. He says he’s “hoping to continue to run, motivate, and inspire as long as people care to listen.”
After a freak staph infection in 2012 nearly killed him and immobilized him for months, 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 that very same year. It took him nearly five and a half hours to do it (that’s about two hours slower than his pre-illness goal), but he finished with a smile on his face and his infant daughter in his arms. What’s more, a few months 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, Fl. “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 daddypdawg.wordpress.com to detail his experience.
She is on the road to the Olympics. We wrote about her last year, after she qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon (which take place as this magazine is being printed). Since, the former Merriman Park Elementary teacher has been racing and coaching the kids of SpeedKIDZ and SpeedKIDZ Elite. Her professional runner-coach website, dawngrunnagle.com, is live, so fans can follow her training and racing leading up to the big day.
We wrote about Nicole last year as she prepared to tackle the Western States 100-mile endurance run. The White Rock area lawyer had clocked the fastest-ever American time in a 100-mile trail run in early 2015. No huge surprise that last December she was named Ultra Trail Runner of the Year by the USA Track and Field’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council.