Grandma's Marathon charity runners raise thousands for Brave Like Gabe

Gabriele (Anderson) Grunewald competes during the women's 5000 meters at the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Grunewald died on Tuesday, June 11, after a decade-long battle with cancer. Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, Perham’s Gabe Grunewald founded the Brave like Gabe organization to inspire other survivors.

This year, for the virtual Grandma's Marathon, the foundation has produced the largest number of charity runners among participating charities.

One fundraising runner was Ashley Grunewald, Gabe's sister-in-law.

"It's amazing just to run for yourself and your mental health. I think it makes us better people in the world when we take care of ourselves but to run to raise money for rare cancer research and funding hope that's just, that's really cool," said Ashley Grunewald, sister of Gabe’s husband Justin.

Gabe Grunewald battled cancer for 10 years, before passing away in 2019. During that time, the former Gopher won the Minnesota Mile in Duluth in 2013 and a U.S. indoor championship in the 3,000 meters in 2014.


Ashley said Gabe was the one that encouraged her to start running.

By running her first half marathon, Ashley raised around $500 for the Brave Like Gabe Foundation as part of this year's virtual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

"It makes me feel close to her. I'm really proud of Brave Like Gabe, raising awareness for the charity and money for the foundation, because it just offers a ton of hope to so many people, not just cancer patients and family members," said Ashley.

Brave Like Gabe has raised over $63,000 in the past eight months.

Even outside of the organization and running communities, Gabe will be remembered June 25, Gabe's birthday, which has been proclaimed Gabe Day in Minnesota by the governor.

Story courtesy of Alicia Tipke, WDIO/WIRT-Duluth.

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