Brent Stroebel has been a runner for only a year and a half. Before then, he never dreamed he would run a marathon through the streets of New York City, but in November he will do just that.

Stroebel began running with coworkers and friends in January 2011. He now runs three to four nights a week and has worked up his stamina to run a full marathon.

"It was never in my mind I would run a marathon, a full 26 miles," Stroebel said. "You kinda have to be… not crazy… just wired a certain way to run that much."

Stroebel is part of a growing community of residents who find joy between the strides. Many local runners train in groups darting around Stephenville and Erath County.

"I really enjoy the social aspect of running. It is a great way to catch up with your friends and make new ones while staying fit," Stroebel said.

After months of building a routine, Stroebel competed in his first marathon in Las Vegas running "The Strip" at night in the Rock and Roll Vegas Marathon alongside veteran runners, other first-timers and people in crazy costumes. He has also competed in the Cowtown Classic Marathon in Fort Worth and the local Lion's Club Halloween Half Marathon.

He now has his sight set on a famous American city that helped introduce marathons to the world in 1970.

Stroebel will visit The Big Apple for the first time to run in the New York City Marathon in November. The 26.2 mile route begins on Staten Island and winds through the five boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, before ending in Central Park. He will run past the Empire State Building and through Times Square.

Stroebel, whose family has a history with various types of cancer, is running for LUNGevity, an organization committed to increasing lung cancer survival rates and improving the quality of life for patients.

Stroebel is calling on the support of locals to sponsor his run. He is asking for $52 donations, $2 for every mile.

His employer, FMC Technologies, and Goin' Nuts were quick to sponsor his race, but he needs more sponsorships to reach his goal of at least $2,620 for lung cancer research. He is collecting donations until race day on Nov. 4.

Contributions can be made online by searching for 'Brent Stroebel' in the Ways to Give section of LUNGevity.org or by emailing Stroebel at brentstroebel@nctv.com.