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“Brave Like Gabe”

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Memorial WOD for Gabriele Grunewald

3.5K 46
  • For Time
  • 19 Clusters (135/85 lb)
  • 1,000 meter run
  • 86 Burpees
  • 1,000 meter run
  • 32 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 1,000 meter run

A cluster is a squat clean plus a thruster (demo).


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namesake photo

Background: “Brave Like Gabe” is a Memorial WOD created in honor of Gabriele Grunewald, an elite American professional middle-distance runner who succumbed to a rare salivary gland cancer on June 11, 2019 at the age of 32.

Gabriele was well-known for her frank discussions about her fight against cancer while continuing to pursue her dreams of running. As part of her openness, she founded Brave Like Gabe (@bravelikegabe), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising research funds for rare cancers.

This “Brave Like Gabe” WOD was programmed by Coach Peter Marjamaa for his followers in Gabriele’s close-knit hometown of Perham, MN, many of whom knew Gabriele personally and were deeply pained by her passing.

Peter, who teaches functional fitness at the Perham Area Community Center @thepaccperham, said “I wanted to do something for them that they can do to remember Gabe on an annual basis.”

The rep scheme and movements were carefully chosen to chronicle Gabriele’s life and struggle. Peter writes:

“19 clusters represent the year she died but is at the beginning of the workout to signify it not being the end of her impact on people. The 3,000 total meters of running throughout the workout signifies the 3,000 meter national championship she won in 2014, which allowed her to compete for Team USA in Poland. 86 burpees represent both the year she was born but the movement itself is a metaphor for life. Despite being knocked down many times by cancer, Gabe got right back up again, competing and training after many surgeries. The 32 thrusters represent her age. The workout concludes with a run. Participants should push as hard as they can to the end, finishing in a sprint if possible.”

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