DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) — Lee Thornquist was not quite sure which town he was in Friday morning when he caught up with Local 5 News.
That’s because, when you you’re running all the way around Lake Michigan, sometimes it’s hard to keep track.
“This is day 13 of the run,” Lee said. “[We] started in Chicago, and the goal is to run a little over 1,100 miles around the perimeter of Lake Michigan.”
He’s a little over 300 miles into that journey.
On Friday, he started out just south of Sturgeon Bay, with plans to end the day’s run at Green Bay’s Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.
“Right now, it’s pretty much always around 31, give or take a mile,” Lee said of his daily mileage. “We usually try to start running around 7:30, and then right now I’ve been doing like 4 to 5 mile segments and then I’ll hop back in the RV.”
The RV is always waiting at the end of each of those segments thanks to Patti.
“My main job is just to make sure Lee can do what he’s doing,” Patti Littell said, “which is a very traumatic experience on his body so I’m preparing all of his food, making sure he’s getting everything he needs, and doing all the grunt work so he can put his energy elsewhere.”
That energy is going into the run and the cause he’s running for.
“I’m fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association,” Lee explained, “and that is special to me because my grandma, Harriet, battled dementia and Alzheimer’s for 13 years before passing away.”
So far he’s raised more than $30,000 of his $55,000 goal.
“Something like this, you know, it garners attention,” Lee said. “And so I wanted to use that attention for something positive.”
He says it’s also served as motivation on those 31-mile days.
“The first 10 days were very tough, a lot of walking, my legs have just been super tight,” Lee said.
His path will take him through Green Bay, up through the UP, then back to Chicago, down the coast on the Lake’s Michigan side.
“I think I’m most looking forward to just seeing how high the fundraiser can go,” Lee said. “And if I’m being honest, I will be very excited to be done, and to have some beers and lay in my bed.”
All of that is just about 800 miles away.