Ali on the Run Show Episode 178: Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Ultra Runner & Best Friend to Gabe Grunewald

“Gabe was all about trying her best, whereas I was more about striving for perfection. And thankfully, I had Gabe in my life to show me what that really meant — trying your best — and why that was so much better than striving for perfection.”

Ladia Albertson-Junkans is a collegiate cross-country runner turned ultramarathoner. Most recently, Ladia ran the Western States 100, and followed that up by running the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Timberline Trail around Mount Hood. Ladia is also well known in the running community as Gabe Grunewald’s best friend. On this poignant episode, Ladia beautifully shares stories about Gabe, who passed away this summer. She talks about their friendship, including the sweet story of how they met, and opens up about being by Gabe’s side during her final days. She talks about what it means to be brave, the role running played in her grieving process, and about learning how to say goodbye. Ladia also talks about how important it was to Gabe to make sure the Brave Like Gabe Foundation kept running and inspiring fellow cancer patients.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! CLICK HERE for $50 off your Aeropex wireless headphone endurance bundle!

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On running the Fastest Known Time on the Timberline Trail around Mount Hood, including how Ladia felt Gabe’s presence before and during the run (6:00)
  • On running Western States in June (19:40)
  • When does Ladia fit running into her busy life? (26:20)
  • How Ladia and Gabe met, and why Gabe wouldn’t let Ladia quit running after college (27:30)
  • Ladia opens up about what Gabe’s last few weeks were like, and shares a few stories about Gabe that speak to her remarkable character (33:45)
  • Ladia talks about that visit from Chip and Joanna Gaines (41:30)
  • Did Gabe know the impact she had on the world? (46:00)
  • What does it mean to live #BraveLikeGabe? (55:30)

What we mention on this episode:

Gabe Grunewald on Episode 62 of the Ali on the Run Show

Brave Like Gabe Foundation

Follow Ladia:

Follow Ali:

Listen & Subscribe:

SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
  • Post Date

related posts

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.