When 22-year-old Isaac Grivett approaches the last miles of Sunday’s New York City Marathon, there’s going to be a slew of supporters cheering on the runner’s finish — though the crowd will be cheering him on for more than just a good pace.
As someone who is HIV-positive, a member of the deaf community and also diabetic, the openly gay and trans Grivett is determined to live a bountiful life despite living with these three unalterable health setbacks.
Currently, Grivett is setting out to conquer the New York City Marathon for a second year in a row, having checked off the Chicago and Los Angeles marathons previously.
Grivett has been running since age 10 while also displaying a passion for music and theatrics at a young age. Many of his health issues developed after playing sports like lacrosse and baseball, where he was both a goalie and catcher.
“I suffered a lot of concussions and that lead to problems with my hearing and chronic migraines,” Grivett said.
Despite that, the athlete wasn’t discouraged from willing a competitive edge over his medical setbacks.
“I never wanted to let any of my issues define me and hold me back,” Grivett said.
That doesn’t just entail athletics, though. When not running, Grivett works on two Broadway shows, “Moulin Rouge!” and “Beetlejuice,” in the wardrobe departments while also taking opportunities to travel.
Intertwining the three passions, Grivett often runs with broadway colleagues through support groups within the industry and runs on each vacation since it’s “the only way to justify” the trips, too, he said.
“I’ve always wanted to do everything,” Grivett said regarding his many passions. “I needed to figure out how to continue to do the things that I love.”
That trio of influences also spurred him into a life of advocacy, specifically for LGBTQ and health rights, which he has been personally affected by — and it is that community of advocates that keeps him on the move, the runner said.
Specifically, groups like Front Runners, and Broadway Cares have also propelled Grivett’s running career forward, too, he said.
“I got roped into doing a lot of races,” Grivett joked.
It was those races and more that prepared Grivett for one of the most challenging and exhilarating marathons in the world.
“Those bridges get me,” Grivett said about the NYC Marathon’s challenges, noting how windy it is up on the Queensborough Bridge.
He will be flaunting some advocate fashion with hat pins worn during the race, each representing a cause that’s close to his heart.
And when the New York Marathon wraps, there’s little time for Grivett to rest.
“After this I’m going to be in San Fransisco for an ultra 50K race,” he said.