You may know Chip Gaines as one half of the Magnolia empire soon to launch an entire TV network. But he also has some legit street cred as runner. Along with his wife and Fixer Upper co-star Joanna, he hosts the Silo District Marathon at home in Waco, Texas.
Chip ran—and simultaneously co-hosted— his first marathon in 2018 while raising money for charity. He even managed to do it while wearing a tool belt, because you know he never likes to miss demo day.
The person who inspired Chip to take up this extracurricular activity was Gabriele Grunewald, a pro runner who continued to train as she battled a rare metastatic cancer since 2009. The Silo District Marathon raised $250,000 for the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, which Gabriele founded. The indoor 3,000-meter champion also served as his trainer.
Gabriele passed away a year ago this week in Minneapolis from complications with cancer at the age of 32. Chip paused on the first anniversary of her death to remember a friendship that changed his life forever.
"Gabe’s life & friendship made me better, & I know there are countless others who would say the same," he wrote on Instagram. "Gabriele was just that kind of person, & I strive to be more like her in that way every single day. She died a year ago today & I’m making a 10K donation to Brave Like Gabe in her honor."
After Chip's first marathon, Gabriele described the "Waco magic" he had shared with er.
"Chip checked a BIG one off his bucket-list today but in the process he helped me check off one too!" she wrote on Instagram. "Ever since the day I was diagnosed with cancer I knew that one day I wanted to work to give back in the form of inspiration, sure, but even more so in an important source of hope for rare cancer patients — raising research funds for advancing the science to discover new treatments."
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