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January Athlete of the Month: Jake Dunne

Jan 24, 2023

While training for a marathon last fall, KWCH-TV Channel 12 television meteorologist Jake Dunne injured his thigh. It was a nagging injury that would not go away. 

He was on a running streak of 679 consecutive days, including running with Covid (twice), the flu, and even in the middle of the night at times. 

“I was in so much pain, the running streak came to an end, and my marathon dreams started to die,” he says. 

But then Jake met Dr. Allison. 

“She helped me get healthy, she helped my hips get stronger, she introduced me to the wonderful world of dry needling, and most importantly, Allison convinced me to NOT give up on marathon training,” he says. “I did not and…I missed my goal by six minutes a mere 4-5 weeks after I started seeing Allison.”

That was Jake’s first, but definitely not his last marathon. 

“My next fitness goal is to run a full marathon in less than three hours,” he says. “I got close in December in Dallas, 3:06:29, and that was my first attempt at running 26.2 miles!”

Jake was born and raised in Wichita, but left in 1998 to pursue a career in television meteorology. In 2019, he returned home to work at KWCH-TV, Channel 12. He’s been married to his wife for 20 years and has two young-adult children. His son is a sophomore at the University of Kansas and his daughter will graduate from Maize High School in May. 

In addition to his day job, Jake is also a running coach at Fleet Feet Wichita, where he coaches runners as they train for 5k and 10k races. 

“I have been involved in sports for over 40 years, and if the sport involves a ball, chances are I played it at a competitive level,” he says. 

Though he’s played all the sports, running is his favorite.

“I cannot explain the feeling I get during a long run, with music in my ears, on a sunny, beautiful day, with the wind at my back... it's like heaven on earth to me.”

Lifting weights is a close second for Jake, who set a school record in bench press. 

“I benched 315 pounds while weighing less than 135 pounds!” he says. “The record has since been broken, but it lasted over two decades” 

Jake says he exercises consistently because he’s addicted to it.

“If I don't get some form of exercise done during the day, I feel like I did not brush my teeth, or I feel like I did not shower.”

He believes humans are more capable and their bodies are more resilient than they think. Jake (technically) died on the operating table at 25 years old. His heart stopped beating for 15 seconds, and when he woke-up in ICU, his surgeon simply said, 'you gave me a good scare, but we got your heart beating again'. 

When it comes to running and other athletic activities, Jake offers this piece of advice, “Some people call it the wall, I call it the little voice in your head. The voice that tells you cannot do something. Tell that voice to shut-up because you CAN do it! I promise you can! Our body can and will do so much more than you think possible. A lot of sports is mind over matter, or mental, and not physical.”