On Tuesday, October 22, Justin Grunewald and I (Tom Rand) will be running the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) to honor the late Gabe Grunewald and to raise money for her Brave Like Gabe Foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to raise money for rare cancer research and to empower cancer patients and survivors through physical activity. The goal of this ~44 mile run with an elevation change of ~20,000 feet is to raise $20k for the foundation.
Gabe was an elite runner sponsored by Brooks, and a deep-rooted Minnesotan. In 2009, Gabe was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a very rare form of cancer. She fought valiantly through many different cancer treatments, all the while, running and competing professionally. On June 11, 2019 Gabe passed away from this rare disease.
Earlier this year, I decided to run the R2R2R. It’s a “bucket list” item for me. While I am far from being an elite athlete, I’ve always loved to run and especially love a good adventure. I work in the athletic industry, representing Brooks Sports, GU and Body Glide. I met Gabe several years ago through my job as a Brooks sales representative in Minnesota. We partnered with Gabe locally, supporting Brave Like Gabe events, where I also met her husband Justin Grunewald. When Gabe passed away this summer, this run became much bigger to me than conquering R2R2R, but to run for a purpose, and in honor of Gabe and her foundation. Justin is quite the accomplished runner, so I am humbled and excited to run R2R2R with him!
You can support us, the foundation, and Gabe by making a donation on CrowdRise (search Justin Grunewald – Tom Rand R2R2R) or large donations can be processed through the BraveLikeGabe.org (please put R2R2R in the memo).
You can follow our run Tuesday on Instagram at the following:
Thank you! - Tom Rand & Justin Grunewald