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Minnesota championship runner Gabriele Grunewald dies at 32

June 13, 2019 02:31 PM

Minnesota championship runner Gabriele Grunewald died at the age of 32 Tuesday, according to her husband, Justin Grunewald.

The runner's husband posted on Instagram Tuesday, "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. (Gabriele Grunewald) 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."

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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. When @chipgaines made the final push in his #chipinchallenge I could feel your happiness building and could also see that this made you ready to head up to heaven. Chip thanks for helping her to go up so peacefully with no suffering. To everyone else from all ends of the earth, Gabriele heard your messages and was so deeply moved. She wants you to stay brave and keep all the hope in the world. Thanks for helping keep her brave in her time of need ?????? #keeprunningonhope #bravelikegabe ?? @pixelcrave ?? @kohjiro_kinno

A post shared by Justin Grunewald (@justingrunewald1) on

Grunewald's husband said she was moved to comfort care at a Minneapolis hospital Sunday.

The 32-year-old distance runner was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma — a rare form of cancer in the saliva glands — in 2009 while running for the University of Minnesota's track and cross-country teams. Following surgery and radiation therapy, she went on to finish second in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA championships.

She then ran professionally through 2017 despite more surgeries and treatments for cancer in her thyroid and liver. She was the 2014 U.S. indoor champion in the 3,000 meters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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