CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The wait is finally over. Syracuse University instructor Sam Sampere got the chance to run with Long Island ultrarunner, Wai Law along the Empire State Trail Monday.
Law is running the entire, newly completed trail from Buffalo to Battery Park in New York City in 10 days to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s research.
Sampere found Law’s story on social media and knew he had to get involved, as his father is currently battling the disease. Sampere met Law out on the trail Sunday night, gave him a place to sleep, and is now running a marathon alongside him and Law couldn’t be happier.
“It was so touching you know there are still people out there that care as much as I do to care about other people,” Law said.
Sampere added that it was nice to finally put a face to a name and support him on this journey.
Law decided to run the entire 555 mile trail in honor of his friend Dennis Almodovar’s father who lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2017.
“It’s a selfless act by him and as a fellow ultrarunner I know what something like this takes mentally, physically it’s just a tremendous effort on his behalf and it’s priceless to me,” Almodovar said.
Almodovar spent the first few days of Law’s trip running with him for short periods at a time and said the generosity of Sampere is invaluable.
“When you’re doing something like this the mental aspect is tremendous to be able to push your body more than it wants, so to be able to have someone help you out like that, mentally what it does, it revives him and once that mental strength starts coming back physically he’ll be able to keep going,” Almodovar said.
But Law has faced many obstacles since he started, from detours along the trail to the intense heat, and it hasn’t been easy. This is also Law’s longest journey he’s ever embarked on and his first self-sufficient run, so he’s pushing a double jogger stroller with him, filled with camping gear, food and clothes and adding over 50 additional pounds to his trip.
While the journey has been harder than Law expected, he said ready or not he’s going all the way, one step at a time, hoping to raise awareness and funds along the way.
If you’re interested in helping Law reach his $555,555 goal, you can visit the donation page here.