Over a century after it was first established, International Women’s Day continues to recognize females for their contributions to, and achievements in, society. To join in the celebration, Brooks is honoring three of their most inspiring professional runners by sharing a little bit about their own unique stories.
A longtime Brooks sponsored 1500-meter runner, Gabriele Grunewald is a fighter and a warrior. She is currently battling cancer for the fourth time and has become an advocate and fundraiser for rare cancer research. Named after her, the “Brave Like Gabe” movement began as a way to help others persevere through challenges without comparing themselves to anyone else. “Her raw yet positive accounts of her story have inspired countless runners to be brave in overcoming obstacles in their own lives,” Brooks shared. “Gabe’s personal struggle has become a launching pad for the next phase of her life, demonstrating to young women everywhere the power of sport to shape their entire lives.”
For Katie Mackey, it wasn’t until 2018 that she finally clinched a spot on her first US team in the 3,000-meter run (4:37.00). Over the years, Mackey has persevered through challenges and has kept going, even when her dreams seemed far away. “Her willingness to set big goals and see them through—even when obstacles threaten to derail them—is something we call all learn from,” said Brooks. Today, if you ask Mackey what motivates her, she’ll be quick to tell you that becoming an Olympian isn’t the only way to be fulfilled in her career. She hopes to honor her gift daily and give back to the community in any way she can.
This might just be Desiree Linden’s year. After two fourth-place finishes at Boston in 2017, she’s gearing up to finish on top this year. During the winter months, Linden worked on improving her strength and speed, and is now enthusiastically setting her sights on a win. “Her steady leadership in women’s running offers guidance to the next generation of runners, and it’s clear Des’ relentless pursuit of excellence continues to open opportunities to her not only as a runner, but as a role model for young women,” sites Brooks.