1 crazy person needs ~31mi to win a 500mi mug from Mill City Running and convinced a handful of friends to do it with her. While the mug was a tantalizing reward, we wanted to accomplish more (and justify spending 4-5hr outside in December in Minnesota) and decided to raise money for the Brave Like Gabe foundation - a foundation founded and inspired by professional runner Gabe Grunewald to find cures for rare cancers.
As of 12/23, 7 people have expressed interest in running the whole 50k with a dozen+ friends and teammates pacing, crewing, heckling for part. Only 3/7 have ever run farther than a marathon and some just ran 26.2 a couple weeks ago. While I thought it would be fun and challenging (and I really wanted my mug), I felt really unprepared and to guarantee that I would actually do it (and encourage others to do the same) I decided to make it a personal fundraiser for Brave Like Gabe donating $1/mi for every 50k finisher that day. Gabe has been on my mind lately - everything from a family member recently passing from cancer to replaying her mantra “it’s okay to struggle but not okay to give up” when I was in a dark place in my recent marathon - and I thought this would be a good tribute to her. My friends, being the crazy but overwhelmingly supportive and generous group that they are, took me up on this offer and pledged donations. Then it snowballed out of control since this silly 50k became a Brave Like Gabe 50k.
Runners in our Mill City group love Gabe. We were impacted by her mission while she was alive, touched by her passing, and inspired by her continued legacy spearheaded by her husband Justin Grunewald (who could probably run a 100k in the time we finish our 50k). 3 50kers became 7, Justin reached out to me and is coming to run for a few miles, and I have become increasingly invested in making this 50k successful (I know nothing about ultras or race management) and an outstanding fundraiser.
Please consider donating - anything from $1/mi of what you run that day, $1/mi or $1/km for your favorite 50kers, or $1/mi for the 7 of us attempting to finish the 50k. After reading the book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer earlier this year, I was struck by the strength of the correlation between funds and improving cancer outcomes. Research is expensive, cancers are complex, and fundraising is necessary to reduce cancer mortality. Donations to Brave Like Gabe go directly to cancer research centers including hospitals Gabe visited as she was fighting her fight against adenoid cystic carcinoma.
P.S. If you're into lucky numbers like I am help us get to $1405 - Gabe's favorite number.
More info about Gabe and Brave Like Gabe foundation: https://bravelikegabe.org/about-gabe