Winthrop firefighter Michael Lopez completed a 24 hour run/walk around Deer Island last weekend that helped him raise more than $7,000 for the Winthrop Viking Pride organization and will allow the group to pay the full athletic user fees for at least seven Winthrop High student athletes in the fall and another seven during the spring season next year.
Lopez wasn’t able to walk and run around the Deer Island non-stop, but he did begin his feat at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 22 and completed it on Sunday at 9 a.m. with just one short two-hour nap early Sunday morning, after taking too quick a pace through the first twelve hours and tiring after midnight.
“I ended up running 91 miles,” said Lopez in an email after his run was over. “I had great community support. People I never met before came out to run some laps with me and made some generous donations. My brothers on the fire department stood by me for the full 24 hours.”
Action Ambulance, which provides emergency medical service to the town, stationed a crew and two small tractors at Deer Island, in case they were needed to treat Lopez for exhaustion or any other medical emergency.
“Action Ambulance Company was unbelievable in their support,” said Lopez. “The EMTs and Paramedics that were on hand, were both professional and supportive of my every need. I really want to thank Action Ambulance, along with everyone else who helped make this happen, for all of their support.”
Another sign of the support shown to him was that Lopez said he never, during the entire 24 hours, passed the starting/finish line near the Deer Island visitor parking lot, without seeing a crowd there cheering him on.
“It was amazing. I ran 75 miles by 9 p.m., but went out way too fast and I paid for it later,” said Lopez. “Around 1:30 in the morning I hit the wall. I ended up having to take a two hour power nap, but got back out there to finish and ended up with the 91 miles. Knowing how many families I was affecting kept me going and made me want to knock out another lap. People from Winthrop and also surrounding communities were amazing in their support throughout my 24-hour run. I didn’t run 91 miles or raise over $7,000 by myself, I really feel that we did it together as a community.”