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 PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
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 PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner poses for a portrait in his home in Millvale.
click to enlarge PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner lifts weights in preparation for the race.
click to enlarge PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Greg Brunner prepares himself before the 6:30 a.m. start time on race day.
click to enlarge PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
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 PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
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 PHOTO ESSAY: Why new ultramarathon participant Greg Brunner won’t stop running
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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