For 71-year-old Lorraine Bunk, running in the Trailbreaker Marathon is all about reaching the finish line.
“I just want to get to the finish line so I can say I have number 20 under my belt,” Bunk said. “It will it be fun. … Running comes from within. You never know what day you are going to have.”
Unofficially, Bunk’s run the Trailbreaker Marathon route 20 times. But she’s officially run in 19 marathons. That’s because one year the race wasn’t held but Bunk and two other marathon runners chose to run the route anyway.
Bunk, Patrick Gorman and Clement Grum are running in their official 20thTrailbreaker Marathon on Saturday. The race is in its 20th anniversary, so the three have been running it since the beginning. The race starts in Frame Park in Waukesha and continues throughout Waukesha County to the halfway point at Lapham Peak where runners climb the observation tower before turning around and running back to Waukesha.
“I started it and every year when it would come around, I thought I would run as long as I could to see how many I could get in,” said Bunk, who is from Kendall, WI.
Gorman was quick to praise Bunk and Grum, calling them “fine runners.” Gorman’s used to running distances longer than marathons, and running the Trailbreaker Marathon seemed “like the natural thing to do” when it was directed by the long-time director of a 50-mile race on the Ice Age Trail.
And once Gorman, who is from Barrington, IL, started running the Trailbreaker Marathon, he couldn’t stop.
“Once you have got a couple in, it just sort of falls in place,” Gorman said about the Trailbreaker Marathon. "It is a nice time of year, there are a lot of good people to see, and I would be darned if I would let Lorraine Bunk have something she could hold over my head.”
Gorman, who is 53, said he’s blessed to continue running all these years. Running marathons and other long-distance races “has just been a wonderful part of my life,” he said.
“The best part of any marathon is finishing the damned thing,” Gorman said. “The Trailbreaker is unique because you hit that trail section that you do for about the middle six miles. That is really the most fun. It is also unique to climb the tower in the middle of the race.”
Bunk, who plans to also run in the Boston Marathon this year, said the Trailbreaker “breaks up the monotony of running” when its switches from asphalt to the trails. That’s part of what sets the Trailbreaker apart.
“Each marathon has its own history, its own little thing,” Bunk said. “You can’t compare marathons to marathons. Every train is different.”
Not ready to run a marathon? The Trailbreaker also includes a half-marathon and a 5K. Find out more details on its website.