Gov. Tim Walz presented a proclamation declaring Tuesday, June 25, as "Gabe Day" at a memorial run in honor of 2004 Perham (Minn.) High School graduate Gabriele Grunewald, who died at her home in Minneapolis on June 11, a news release from the governor's office said. Grunewald, 32, was one of the country's top distance runners who was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2009 during her running career with the Minnesota Gophers. She started to run professionally in 2010.
Tuesday would have been Grunewald's 33rd birthday.
Walz was joined by Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Gabriele's husband, Justin Grunewald, at 6:30 p.m. at B.F. Nelson Park, 434 NE Main St., Minneapolis.
Grunewald’s hometown of Perham will be hosting an event on Friday, June 28 in association with the Summer Block Party, which is headlined by Patrick Murphy and his Nashville Band.
The Perham version of the “Gabe Day” run will begin at 3 p.m. and will consist of a 1.405 mile run/walk in honor of Grunewald. Grunewald’s favorite number is 1.405.
It will be followed by a concert from Erin Anderson at 5:30 p.m, which leads into the main show featuring Patrick Murphy and his Nashville Band. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. and go until 10 p.m. at the Arvig Parking Lot.
Perham Cross Country head coach Jeff Morris said they will honor Gabe with the rest of the state. The run will be a kick off to the Summer Block Party, which will be held at the Arvig Parking Lot.
“We are excited. I was approached by Tom Murphy and Ehren Zimmerman about doing a memorial for Gabe. It made a lot of sense to put together a memorial run for her. We couldn’t get things done fast enough to have it on Gabe Day, but we thought it would be great to do it with the Block Party,” Morris said. “I hope to have the whole cross country team there and it’s a chance for the community to say that we are proud of what she did and honor her family.”
The run will start at the corner of second avenue and second street, by St. Henry’s. Runners are encouraged to stay on the right and on the sidewalks.
“This will be a tremendous way to honor Gabe as a community,” Morris said of the “Gabe Day” run/walk in Perham.
Morris said they will be taking a free-will donation for the Brave Like Gabe Foundation.
Jason Groth from the Perham Focus contributed to this report.