By Coach Shawn Lucas
“Love hurts. Love scars. Love wounds and marks. Any heart not tough or strong enough to take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain; Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain. Love hurts, Ooh love hurts…”
We have all experienced a loss of some kind or another. A loss of a job, a loss of a pet, a loss during a race – maybe due to injury or lack of preparation, a loss of a loved one – family or friend. It’s not easy. We sometimes numb ourselves and “move-on”, without fully acknowledging what was fully lost in the first place. Earlier in June, our running community lost a true champion, Gabriele Grunewald – AKA Gabe - #bravelikegabe.
For those that don’t know who Gabe is, what she accomplished, why this loss hits at home for our community and for me personally, let me give you a little quick blurb on Gabe’s story – in her own words…
❌2009: First diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (very rare cancer), PR in 1500, surgery, radiation.
❌2010: PR in 1500, Runner-up at NCAA Champs, sign professional contract with Brooks Running. Second diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer, surgery.
❌2011: Radioactive iodine therapy, 3rd in mile at US Indoors, PR in 1500.
⭕️2012: PR of 4:04 in 1500, 4th at US Olympic Trials.
⭕️2013: PR of 4:01 in 1500, 8:42 in 3000, 2:01 in 800, Fastest mile on MN soil 4:21 (road).
⭕️2014: US Champion Indoor 3000, 5th place US Outdoor 1500.
⭕️2015: PR in 800, PR in 5000.
❌2016: 15:19 5000m, US Olympic Trials Finalist in 1500m. Recurrence of ACC. Major liver surgery.
❌2017: Another liver recurrence. Ran 4:12 1500 before racing USA Champs on chemotherapy. Immunotherapy clinical trial, radioembolization.
❌2018: No races but I tried! Oh wait I won the Silo District 5k in Waco! 🤩 Immunotherapy and radioembolization.
❌2019: No races (yet)! ERCP with stent procedure, new drug Lenvatinib. Still hopeful 🙏
Wow, what a beast! What an inspiration! What a warrior!
As I dove more into Gabe’s story, what impressed me more beyond the amazing successes she had were two things:
She accepted life’s curveballs and ups and downs. She accepted the challenges of cancer and faced them head first, just like she would face her fellow competitors. She faced the literal battle for her life with grace and with a huge smile. She wasn’t going to let this battle define her.
The Love story that she created with her husband Justin. This is something, as a husband and father, that touches home most. These two have an incredible bond. The love of running, which brought the two together during their years of running for The University of Minnesota Gophers, was a center of their life as individuals, but beyond their love of running, was a love to share their journey with ALL. This has been showcased no better than in the in the co-creation of the “Brave-like-Gabe” campaign, which raises awareness and money for rare cancer research.
I pray that all DWrunning team members can continue to compete like Gabe lived her life. Life is going to throw you battles that you may not be prepared for, so surround yourself with positive fighters in your life that can help you through life’s ups and downs. When we learn to love something, like running, or someone, so hard, Nazareth was correct in their song, Love does hurt, sometimes. But like another favorite artist of mine, if you love hard, love fully and continue to tackle life with spreading joy to EVERYONE, no matter your battle or their battle, you’ll conquer it this life and your goals with grace.
“Hurt so good, come on baby make it hurt so good, sometimes love don't feel like it should, you make it, hurt so good”
Here’s to Gabe and all those like her in your own life <3
An “Illustration” by Coach Dan Kittaka
June Race Highlights
Kristina Aubert - Grandma's Marathon - 2:40:48 (PR & OTQ!)
Sarah David - Grandma's Marathon - 2:50:32 (PR!)
Jeannie Sullivan - Grandma's Marathon - 2:53:22
Bri Rohne - Wy'East Wonder 50k - 4:57:17 (debut & champ!!)
Dan O'Keefe - Naperville 10k - 31:41 (PR & 2nd place!)
Cam Rieger - Grandma's Marathon - 2:27:33 (PR!)
Chris Porst - Grandma's Marathon - 2:34:58 (PR!)
Jess Sokolowski - Cosley Zoo 10k - 43:16 (Champ!)
Varun Praveen - Run for the Zoo 10k - 40:23
Rudy Valenta - Summer Speed Series 5k - 19:31
Rene Duquesnoy - Race Against Gun Violence 8k - 38:04
Rudy Valenta - Speed Series 5k - 18:50
Pete Jaros - Steamboat Classic 4M - 22:00 (AG champ!)
Brett Joseph - Race Against Hate 5k - 21:55
Dave Alvarez - Gary Bjorklund HM - 1:29:11
Sam Greenwood - Grandma's Marathon - 3:10:36 (+ BQ!)
Dan Kapinus - Grandma's Marathon - 3:39:17
Amanda Porter - Proud to Run 5k - 18:31 (Champ!
Ren Harn - Proud to Run 5k - 19:12 (AG Champ!)
Steve Spangler - Proud to Run 10k - 38:35 (AG Champ!)
Top Placings & Age Group Wins
Kaitlyn Clark - Trot Against Trafficking 5k - 20:52 (champ!)
Jessica Sokolowski - Loyola Medicine 5k - 20:45 (champ!)
Jeannie Sullivan - Clarendon Hills Daisy Dash 5k - 19:05 (champ!)
Pam Orvis - Father's Day Breakfast 5k - 22:14 (AG champ!)
Sascha Edge - Race Against Hate 5k - 18:40 (AG champ!)
Julie Crutchfield - Charlevoix Marathon - 3:17:21 (AG champ + BQ!)
Jeannie Sullivan - Grandma's Marathon - 2:53:22 (2nd fastest ever!)
Jamie Hershfang - Grandma's Marathon - 3:09:27
Larry Kravets - Grandma's Marathon - 3:11:12 (2nd fastest ever!)
Yuki Hirao - Grandma's Marathon - 3:22:04 (2nd fastest ever!)
Catharine Carlin - Grandma’s Marathon - 3:34:58
7/5 - Amanda Porter
7/6 - Catharine Carlin & Chris Robertson
7/7 - Malla Seljeseth
7/11 - Mark Catania
7/12 - Allison Koch & Rene Duquesnoy
7/21 - Mary Tobin
7/23 - Laura Houghton
7/25 - Matt Thor
7/26 - Stacy Nigrelli
7/28 - Chris McGarry
7/30 - Brad Simmons & Kim Weiss
Meet the Newest DWRunners!