Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Dawn Grunnagle, former elementary school teacher and coach of local youth running club SpeedKIDZ Elite, will toe the line at the Olympic marathon trials tomorrow in Los Angeles.

She’s been a professional runner for just a few years now, and if you spend any time at White Rock Lake, Katy Trail or the SMU track these days, chances are good you’ve seen her fly past, her husband often at her side on his bicycle. While logging those 90-plus miles per week, she’ll have a very serious look on her face. Off the track, however, she always offers a warm smile and conversation to us mortals and the young people she coaches. They say she’s like a mother to them (though this is a promo video, these girls seem really sincere).

She’s so fast, that our photographer Danny Fulgencio says he had trouble capturing her in action during their shoot on the Mockingbird bridge. She won the half marathon at the Dallas Marathon last December.

Still, she’s a long shot for the Olympics. (A long shot’s long shot, says the CW33 reporter.)

At 38 years old, she will be one of the oldest women in a field of 200. That hasn’t stopped her from rising before dawn, sacrificing a social life and working like crazy to run her best among America’s finest female distance runners.

NBC will have three hours of live coverage beginning at noon Saturday, Feb. 13. The men’s race starts at 12:06, women at 12:22, our time.

Here’s our recent story about Grunnagle.

Here’s one from her hometown paper.

And that aforementioned CW33 package.

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