Training Wheel: Man known for pulling tire along Highway 47 in Lac du Flambeau preparing for 60th marathonSubmitted: 08/17/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director

Training Wheel: Man known for pulling tire along Highway 47 in Lac du Flambeau preparing for 60th marathon
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.

"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.

Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau.  He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine.  People often stop to take his picture.

"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.

Every other day -- sun, rain, or snow -- you can find Tarantino working on his fitness in a way he doesn't see as strange at all, dragging the tire two miles at a time.

"I just look at it like bench pressing or whatever, it's just part of my regime," Tarantino said.

The 68-year-old moved to the Northwoods from Chicago in 2000. He quit smoking, got in shape, but then stopped working out for eight years.

"The doctor grabbed me by the stomach and said, 'Hey... Uh-huh.' and so I started running again," Tarantino said.

Twenty pounds lighter, he's now finished 58 marathons, keeping track with x's tattooed on his shoulder. But running with the tire is just part of frank's program.

"It's his thing, he likes it and good for him," LDF Fitness Center Personal Trainer Kevin Allen said.

Allen met Tarantino a few years ago at the gym. He instantly took a liking to the outgoing marathon runner, sharing workout tips between the two.

"[People] will see him out doing his thing with the tire or you'll see him in here and they'll think to themselves, well, he's doing it, why can't i do it?" Allen said.

The "Tire Man's" road to 60 marathons hasn't always been smooth. He suffered a heart attack while pulling the tire two years ago. (Tarantino credits the people at the Peter Christensen Health Center for saving his life) But that didn't deflate his ambitions.

"You've gotta exercise if you want to live," Tarantino said.

Which means you'll find Frank moving along Highway 47 for the foreseeable future.

"They'll probably find me dead on the highway one day," Tarantino laughed.

Showing others nothing can get this "guy" to tire out.

NOTE: Tarantino plans to hit 60 marathons in October. After that, he may decide to run half-marathons instead.

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