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Chip Gaines Reveals the Incredible Reason He Wore His Toolbelt While Running His Marathon

Chip Gaines crossed the finish line of his first marathon last week, but his running gear still remained a bit of a mystery — until now.

“I wore my toolbelt in honor of a local soldier who is currently serving overseas,” the Fixer Upper star said in the latest post on his wife Joanna’s Magnolia blog. “He thought he’d be able to make it to Waco for the race. Unfortunately, as I can only assume must happen often, things changed and he was not able to leave and be with us for this marathon.”

Chip added that the competitor still made it work by convincing “his commanding officer into letting him run the race there.”

RELATED: Fixer Upper Carpenter Clint Harp on How Meeting Chip Gaines at a Gas Station Changed His Life


“He chose not only to run the race, but to do it in full gear, which he explained added about 40-45 pounds,” Chip continued. “So I figured if he could run in 90 degree heat with an added 45 pounds on his back, I could at least honor him with my toolbelt. And I did.”

 Besides honoring the soldier, the Gaineses event also drew 6,000 runners and 300 volunteers to their town of Waco, Texas and raised $250,000 for rare cancer research through the Brave Like Gabe Foundation. Although Chip admitted the challenge “really hurt,” he couldn’t deny it was well worth the pain.

“I was proud. Proud of myself, but really, really proud of Gabe, her foundation, and of each and every runner who made their dreams a reality by crossing the finish line that day,” he said.


As for who helped him conquer the bucket list item, he praised both his coach, professional runner, Gabriele Grunewald, and his kids, Drake, 13, Ella, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 8 (Joanna is pregnant with their fifth child, a boy) who each ran alongside their dad for a few miles.

“Drake, my oldest, ended up running 14 miles with me,” he said. “He started running up ahead to water stations, grabbing me a cup, and then running it back to me so I wouldn’t have to stop. He was taking care of me.”



The HGTV host also reflected on completing his goal hand-in-hand with his youngest daughter.

“Thinking back on it now, it felt surreal. For a couple minutes, I didn’t even realize how much my body hurt,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that the culmination of so many long hours of training and soreness and hard work and failure and dedication all came down to this one singular moment.”

As for if he plans to take on the same feat again, he joked, “Not a chance!” But he was quick to add, “I know I’ll be running in next year’s race, I just can’t tell you which distance yet. No matter what, we will definitely host the Silo District Marathon races here in Waco again.”

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