GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Minnesota native and All-American professional middle distance runner Gabriele Grunewald died from cancer on Tuesday, June 11, according to her husband, Justin.
In an Instagram post, her husband said, "At 7:52 I said, 'I can’t wait until I get to see you again' to my hero, my best friend, my inspiration, my wife. @gigrunewald I always felt like the Robin to your Batman and I know I will never be able to fill this gaping hole in my heart or fill the shoes you have left behind. Your family loves you dearly as do your friends."
Grunewald had battled cancer four times in her life, including liver cancer, which doctors found in 2016.
According to an Instagram post, Grunewald's liver function took a turn for the worst late Saturday night.
Grunewald’s husband says they decided to check her into “comfort care” Sunday afternoon, prior to her death on Tuesday.
Grunewald grew up in Perham Minnesota, where she was a state high school champion in the 800 meter run.
She went onto run for the University of Minnesota Gophers, winning several Big-10 championships with the team and was named an All-American, before turning pro in 2010.
She kept running despite being diagnosed with cancer four times during her running career.
Grunewald narrowly missed out on the 2012 Olympics, missing the team by just one spot.
She narrowly missed out on the Olympics again in 2016.
In 2018 Grunewald started the Brave Like Gabe foundation to raise money for cancer research and to grow the sport of running.
She was also the marathon coach for Chip Gaines, star of HGTV's Fixer Upper.
The two of them started a special running event in Gaines’ hometown of Waco Texas to raise money and awareness for cancer research.