Pro runner. Cancer patient. Relentless optimist.
Gabe Grunewald’s career with Brooks spans eight years. She signed with Brooks in 2010 and was most recently featured in our March 2018 catalog. Eight years is a long tenure for any professional track and field athlete, but it’s even more impressive given that Gabe’s running career has always been shadowed by cancer.
Gabe has lived two lives for ten years: professional athlete and cancer patient. She was first diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma as a 5th-year senior at University of Minnesota in 2009. At times she’s been so sick she couldn’t run a step. But Gabe has also gone through periods of remission that allowed her to compete successfully, even winning the 3,000-meter run at US Indoor Nationals in 2014.
The only clue that Gabe has cancer is a long scar across her abdomen. The scar is the result of major surgery in 2016 to treat a recurrence of the cancer in her liver. Though the scar is noticeable, Gabe’s wide smile and easy laugh make a bigger impression. Gabe’s positive outlook shapes her goals. She’ll continue to train and receive treatment, but she wants to do more. Now, she says, it’s time to recognize that it’s not all about her. Now is the time to help others find their own opportunities to be brave.
Great workouts start with great coffee. Gabe and her husband, Justin Grunewald, make a pre-track visit to Northern Coffeeworks, a coffee shop near their Minneapolis condo.