PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running | Pittsburgh City Photos | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running

click to enlarge Greg Brunner completes a speed workout on the Millvale River Trail on Aug. 10, 2021. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner completes a speed workout on the Millvale River Trail on Aug. 10, 2021.
“I knew I could run a half marathon. I knew I could run a marathon. I didn’t know if I could run 100 miles,” Greg Brunner said to me when we sat down to reflect on his first ultramarathon, a 50.3-mile race on the Baker Trail.

In fact, the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge — a footrace on the north section of the 134-mile trail that traverses six Western Pennsylvania counties — was not just the Millvale resident’s first ultramarathon, but his first official long-distance race ever.

Before stepping up to the start line of The Baker Trail at 6:30 a.m. on Sat., Aug. 28, Greg’s legs had only ever endured 20 miles in a single run. About nine hours of running later, Greg made it over 46.7 miles to the ninth and final aid station before the finish. After walking that final, stormy five-mile stretch with his dad, Greg came to the car shivering uncontrollably, saying, “I feel like I’m going to pass out.”
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click to enlarge Greg Brunner poses for a portrait in his home in Millvale. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner poses for a portrait in his home in Millvale.
click to enlarge Greg Brunner lifts weights in preparation for the race. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner lifts weights in preparation for the race.
click to enlarge Greg Brunner prepares himself before the 6:30 a.m. start time on race day. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner prepares himself before the 6:30 a.m. start time on race day.
click to enlarge Runners gather across from the start line in Summerville, Pa. the morning of the race on Aug. 28, 2021. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Runners gather across from the start line in Summerville, Pa. the morning of the race on Aug. 28, 2021.
click to enlarge Greg Brunner drinks water and gets cooled off at aid station two at mile 10.3 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner drinks water and gets cooled off at aid station two at mile 10.3 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge.
click to enlarge Greg Brunner embraces his dad at aid station number 3 during mile 16 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner embraces his dad at aid station number 3 during mile 16 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge.

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