NORTH PLATTE, NE – As Mike Wilson ran across central Nebraska last week in heats that topped the high 90s and low 100s, the members of the Newburyport Waterfront Trust began discussing how the city might greet him as he crosses the finish line of his 3,000-mile trek later this summer on the Merrimack River boardwalk.
“It’s fabulous,” said trust chairman Wilbur Shenk. “We are in total support.”
“It’s a really cool cause,” said vice-chairman Matt Pieniazek.
“Maybe he’ll run down the boardwalk,” said member Sean Bradley.
Mike is running across America from Oregon to the Merrimack waterfront to raise money for two organizations, Lucy’s Love Bus in Amesbury and MaxLove Project in California, that help people cope with cancer.
When The Town Common caught up with Mike, he was running and pushing his stroller on the Lincoln Highway, U.S. Highway 30, the first coast-to-coast highway in the country. Mike said that running on this historic highway, which parallels Interstate 80, “is so cool,” because there are so many interesting sites along the highway. He stops to read the historic plaques and visit historic sites, which entertains him and gives his legs a brief rest.
In Nebraska, he stopped in the first Cabella’s store.
The Lincoln Highway was dedicated on October 31, 1913, running from Times Square in New York City, NY, to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, CA, more than 3,000 miles across now 14 states.
Despite the heat, Mike continues to run 40 miles per day. “I am really getting drained,” he said.
In town after town across Nebraska, he has met a lot of friendly people. Some feed him at restaurants. Others let him stay in their homes. Thanks to Facebook pages, which are following him, supporters are waiting for him to arrive in their town.
Told that he was a topic of the Newburyport Waterfront Trust meeting, Mike said he is looking forward to arriving in Newburyport. He plans to arrive in Boston the day before and run the last 38 miles up state Rte. 1 to the boardwalk.
“I can’t wait,” he said. He expects to arrive by mid-August.
To support Mike’s efforts raising money, Planet Fitness donated 600 “awesome” t-shirts to help raise $12,000 to fight childhood cancer. “Buy yours today and wear it proudly knowing that every penny of your purchase will go to Lucy’s Love Bus and MaxLove Project!” Lucy’s LoveBus wrote.
The shirts can be purchased for $20by visiting:lucyslovebus.org/mikesrun.
The MaxLove Project is a California-based program like Lucy’s Love Bus.
Pick up The Town Common or follow him on the web site each week to track Mike’s progress across America.