The Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate is SO excited to announce that the 2019 Charity Partner is Brave Like Gabe! Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald will be running the Half Marathon and speaking at the Pre-Event Dinner on Friday, March 15th (buy your dinner tickets now!).
Learn more about pro-runner Gabe Grunewald & her foundation, Brave Like Gabe:
Pro runner. Cancer patient. Relentless Optimist.
Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald (née Anderson) is a professional American middle-distance runner and lifelong Minnesotan, born and raised in Perham, MN (population 2,985).
She won a single track & field state title in the 800-meters competing for Perham High School. Gabriele walked-on to the University of Minnesota cross country and track & field teams in 2004, where she was a part of several Big Ten Championship squads and eventually became an NCAA track & field All-American with a runner-up finish in the 1500-meters in 2010, her final collegiate race.
Gabriele has run professionally for Brooks since 2010.
Why did you continue running through each diagnosis and treatment?
Throughout each new diagnosis and treatment, I have made the choice to run and train when my body allows. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been the right decision for me.
From the very first day I was told I had cancer in 2009, I knew running would be a big part of my journey back to health. It has truly been my refuge; when everything else seems to be going wrong and the outcomes are far beyond my control, I can find perspective and hope on the run.
I believe that continuing to pursue my goals on the track has helped me to carry on with purpose in my life in the face of an uncertain future.
The mental boost I get from my daily run has become so important to me and is something I wish I could share with every cancer survivor.
It has become more and more of a challenge over the past two years (since my recurrence) to maintain the consistency and intensity of training required to be one of the best runners in the world, but I’m not giving up on my dream of taking one more shot at the Olympics in 2020!
Being brave, for me, means not giving up on the things that make me feel alive.
— Gabriele Grunewald, Founder of Brave Like Gabe
Why did you want to start your foundation?
Founding Brave Like Gabe is my way to give back to the communities who have generously and enthusiastically supported me on this challenging professional-runner-battling-cancer journey.
I would love to live in a world where rare cancer patients have more treatment options and ultimately, cures. And if I can’t live in that world, I want to help it become a possibility for future patients.
I remember feeling devastated when I realized how little research had been done on my cancer and the fact that there were not any FDA-approved treatments for my disease—I don’t want any patient to feel that way; that they’re alone in their fight or that the medical research community doesn’t care about their cancer.
My goal is to raise awareness for these diseases, the research funding disparities, and other challenges that prevent these cancers from having effective treatment options. Through Brave Like Gabe fundraising efforts, we will support research and accelerate treatments for rare cancer patients.
I also want to empower cancer survivors to move their bodies! There are so many benefits to incorporating physical activity in your life whether you are a cancer survivor or not, and I want to continue to encourage an active lifestyle for everyone.
Physical activity is a critical part of cancer prevention and is also a way for patients and survivors to ease treatment side effects, tolerate new therapies, and improve their mental health (1) . Brave Like Gabe aims to inspire and support everyone on their personal fitness journey.
I find the courage to keep running and racing through hope. Hope for a future treatment that might work for me and for others in similar situations. That hope comes from research. You could say I run on hope.
We run on hope. We run for research. We are not giving up. #BraveLikeGabe.
— Gabriele Grunewald (Follow Gabe on Instagram)