2016 Human of the Year: Gabriele Grunewald

I follow a lot of runners on social media; it's a part of our job here at FloTrack.

Posting on social media is important for runners to build a fan base, but I always appreciate when athletes share a little bit more of their life OUTSIDE of running. I'm engaged to a runner, and I know ya'll do things besides put in mileage and work out to the point of insane abdominal muscles.

One runner who I've gotten to know is Gabriele Grunewald, who is my 2016 Human of the Year. Even when I was running for the University of Michigan, I already admired Gabe, because she was such a beast at the University of Minnesota. Her running accomplishments and empowering personal story are well-documented, but it's worth sharing them with you again.

Gabe was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 when she was still competing for Minnesota. She beat it. She was diagnosed again in 2010. And again she beat it. Four months ago, she took to Instagram to reveal that she had a large tumor in her liver and that she would be having cancer surgery--her third battle with the disease.


Before her cancer diagnosis, Gabe ran 15:19 at the 2016 Portland Track Festival to dip under the Olympic 5K standard. This season she struggled with an injury that forced her to shift her focus, "the plan," to the 5K instead of the 1500m (an event she had finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic Trials). This photo was taken right after she crossed the finish line, and it's really special to me. Runners go through such extremes between success and failure, and moments like that don't come around as often as we'd like to think. I was able to share in Gabe's joy after she ran that time, and it was pretty cool.


Gabe planned to race in the Olympic Trials 5K final in Eugene, Oregon, but didn't qualify out of the prelim. She was down but not out. She went on to qualify in second for the next round of the 1500m the very same day she finished 11th in her 5K prelim. How many athletes would be able to pick themselves up like that? I remember being bummed for Gabe but also incredibly happy when she ran her way to the 1500m finals. Those highs and lows in our sport were exactly what Gabe experienced in Eugene, but she came out a better athlete because of it.


Cancer sucks. Three bouts of cancer by age 30 sucks even more, I imagine. But Gabe continues to share her story with her fans and friends--the good, the bad, and the ugly. For this, Gabe is my Human of the Year.

Brown Cuts Men's Track & Field/XC

Brown University is cutting men’s track and field and cross country along with nine other varsity sports at the school, the school announced on Thursday as part of their roll out of The Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative.

2020 Boston Marathon Canceled

For the first time in its 124 year history, the Boston Marathon has been canceled as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

David Rudisha Undergoes Surgery After Breaking Ankle

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Appalachian State Cuts Men's Indoor Track And Field

Appalachian State is dropping men’s indoor track and field, the latest program to make cuts to collegiate running programs since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Leo Daschbach Becomes 11th U.S. Prep To Break 4:00 With 3:59.54

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On Saturday night in El Dorado Hills, California, high school senior Leo Daschbach (AZ) became the 11th U.S. prep runner to break 4:00 in the mile with his 3:59.54 clocking.

Is NCAA Track/XC Dying?

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The recent announcements of program cuts to men's cross country at Akron and men's track at Central Michigan have resurfaced a feeling of uncertainty for the future of NCAA cross country and track. Here is a breakdown of where our sport currently stands within the NCAA system.

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Understanding Resting And Maximum Heart Rate

Throughout the past years, business has combined the health and technology industries to create a society where fitness tracking has become a regular pastime. People have become more invested in their health and want fun devices to assist in that. These smartwatches and apps have made it easier than ever to know what your exact heart rate is, how many hours of sleep you get, or how far you run. However, with all the knowledge presented to you, it’s equally important to actually understand what those numbers mean to best achieve all of your fitness goals. A big part of this is knowing the different active and resting heart rate zones. 

Pre-Run And Post-Run Stretches

Stretching before and after your run can add a lot of benefits to your exercise routine. It allows you to warm up your muscles and safely progress into your run and also provides your body time to cool off and continue to activate your muscles. It’s important to set aside a couple of minutes before and after exercising so you can make sure you’re taking proper care of your body. 

The History Of Track And Field

Track and field has been around since the start of the Olympics in Ancient Greece in 776 B.C. It was created alongside religious events and celebrations for the Greek gods where men (no women were allowed) could show off their athletic abilities. From there it spread to the Romans who continued the games until the Christian Emperor Theodosius I banned them in 394 A.D. because of their ties to pagan beliefs. 

Don't Miss The Quarantine Clasico Sub-4 Live On MileSplit

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History could be headed our way on Saturday in California.