The former University of Minnesota athlete first established his presence in ultrarunning with wins at the 2018 Afton Trail 50k in 2018 and The NorthFace Endurance Challenge Wisconsin 50 Mile in 2019. He continued his success in 2020 with an eighth-place finish at the Bandera 100k and second at the Way Too Cool 50k.
Grunewald is perhaps best known for his perseverance in the face of adversity following the untimely passing of his wife, Gabriele Grunewald, a professional track athlete who endured an arduous battle with a rare form of cancer. Despite this tragic loss, Grunewald, a doctor, displayed selfless compassion with Gabe and still does in her memory, his professional life, and with his new family. His story is hypertrophic. Love, work, athletics, loss, love, all compacted into a short 33 years. It isn’t the elements of his story, rather, it’s how he’s thrived living a lifetime of experiences that magnifies Justin’s values.
Grunewald is now a new father after he and his partner and fellow rabbitPRO,Amanda Basham, welcomed their daughter, Rylan, into the world earlier this year. Through the unexpected ups and downs Grunewald has remained focused on the moment, managed it, and thrived.
“I met Justin in 2019 at the Javelina Jundred and knew immediately that he was a kindred spirit with rabbit. We’re so happy to have Justin join our family and can’t wait to watch his trail career continue to blossom,” said rabbit co-founder Monica DeVreese.
Grunewald will don the rabbit singlet for the first time this Saturday, February 13th, at the Black Canyon 100k in Arizona. Grunewald’s late wife Gabriele foundedThe Brave Like Gabe Foundation which he has created a fundraiser for around Black Canyon 100k. All donations will go to funding rare cancer research:https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/black-canyon-100k/justingrunewald?modified=1
Good luck Justin!