Spotlight on…Grant Brakob!

Spotlight on…Grant Brakob!

(Photo credit: Brenner Sandberg)

Birthdate: 3/13/1992

Birth Place: Minneapolis, MN

Family: I visit my parents and younger sister who live in MN often, and keep in touch with my brother who lives in NY. I also have a cat. Her name is Voldemort.

Personal strengths: I *think* I'm getting better at striking a balance between my personal and professional (special education teaching and graduate studies) lives, but maybe check in on that one in November. 😂

Personal weaknesses: Sometimes I can be a perfectionist and also sometimes get a little carried away and if something really interests me.

Reason for joining Northstar: I ran Cross Country and Track from the beginning of middle school until I graduated high school.  I enjoy both running on my own and with people, but I missed having a running community, and sometimes someone to run with.  Right now, I'm trying to make it out to one or two weekend runs with the club each week.  Hope to see you there!

Favorite running shoes: I am a cheapskate and have mostly gotten Saucony Cohesions since early high school I think.  Every once in a while I get an ache or pain and want to try something fancier.  I'm currently running in a pair of Saucony Glide Isos and they're getting the job done.

Favorite place to run: If it's on my own, I love Lake of the Isles because it's a nice 5.5 mile run I can do from my apartment.  If it's with the club, I like running along the river in Minneapolis, any of the lakes, or Afton State Park (I'll deny this later, but despite a lot of trash talk, I kind of like hills once in a while).

Running Goals:

  • Short-term: Keep an active running routine through the school year.  I struggle with this every year.  I'm going to need to break a sub-20 minute 5k eventually.
  • Long-term: Stay committed to running into the future as long as I keep getting enjoyment from it.  I totally heard someone else say this and stole it, because it's true.  I don't have any specific long-term time goals other than run a 5k under 20 minutes.  Running Boston Marathon when I'm really old and can meet the qualifying time would be cool, but I'm not going to put all of my eggs in that basket.  I don't have any marathons on my agenda at the moment either.

Proudest Running Achievement: It's nice to think back on all of the times I completely hit the wall in a marathon, missed my goal time, and finished anyway.  Always a bittersweet feeling, but I feel like it gives me something to reflect on when things get tough in other areas of life.

Typical training week, a month or two before a major race: Get as many runs with the club in as I can. Make sure I get in some speed work during the week and a long run on the weekend.  Running one day a week on trails is nice, but not a requirement for me.

Running idol: I don't really have one.

Injuries: *Knock on wood* I don't have any really serious running injuries to speak of.  Every couple years or so, I'll get some tendinitis or inflammation.  Taking a week off, plenty of ice, potentially a bit of ibuprofen, and a slow return to running usually gets me back to normal.  I am SO grateful for how lucky I've been in this respect.


  • Marathon PR: 3:44:52
  • Half-Marathon PR: 1:34: 18
  • 25K PR: N/A
  • 10 Mile PR: 1:39:47
  • 10K PR: 43:05
  • 5K PR: 20:05
  • 1 Mile PR: 5:25 (I think)

Non-running Hobbies: I got out more in the summer, but I'm trying to get out and do more photography on the weekends now that school is in full swing.  In the summer I'm a big reader.  I hesitantly signed up for a fantasy football team this year.  I'm a big fan of getting outside to bike, hike, or even run.  Board game nights with family or friends are a favorite during the colder months.