Waco: ‘Fixer Upper” star decides to host a marathon, and run it, too

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Chip Gaines has announced he's not only running his first ever marathon but hosting it in downtown Waco, a move inspired by a chance encounter the "Fixer Upper" star had with a professional runner in New York City who has been battling a rare form of cancer.

(Texas Motor Speedway photo)

"It's time to tie up our laces, hit the trails, & start training for the Silo District Marathon—my first race ever!" Gaines posted on social media Thursday.

"I have no idea how this is going to shake out, but I do know you can't run a marathon unless you get started.”

The inaugural Silo District Marathon is on Sunday May 6 in downtown Waco and will include a full marathon, a half marathon and a 5K.

"Proud of you @chipgaines for taking the first step... this is going to be good!" his wife and fellow reality show star Joanna Gaines posted to her nearly 7 million followers on Instagram.

Chip Gaines has never run any race before and he started training for the marathon in January.

Six days in, he told his followers the training was tough.

"Man, I wish I could sugarcoat this but the last 2 runs have been tough. Yesterday was seemly all up hill and it kicked my butt. Today it was 27 degrees and for us Texans that may as well be 10 below. Take away: no one said this would be easy. For me, it's simple: 1 foot in front of the other. You don't lose unless you quit."

Gaines says the idea to host the marathon came about after he encountered athlete Gabriele Grunewald in Central Park this past fall, a professional mid-distance runner who's been fighting a rare cancer since 2009.

"Watching Gabe run this metaphorical race she didn't choose (battling cancer) with such grace inspired Chip to jump in and get involved in her story," the Magnolia website reads.

"While running a marathon is nothing compared to fighting cancer, it hopefully serves as a fitting symbol to facing our fears head on, whatever they may be, and taking on challenges that seem larger than us with faith and hope."

The website says Gabe's story left such a mark on Chip that he went from planning to run a marathon to hosting it, deciding all the proceeds will go to helping fight diagnosis like the one's Gabe has faced.

"We will be able to donate 100 percent of the profits from the race to further the much-needed research on rare cancers, which make up 50 percent of all cancer diagnoses. It is our honor to come alongside Gabe and others with similar diagnoses to find answers, solutions and, ultimately, cures. We hope you'll choose to join us and be a part as well!"