Man running 555 miles on Empire State Trail reaches Utica

Around New York State

UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — While the rest of us have spent the last few days complaining about the intense heat, Wai Law has been running 55 miles a day in it. 

Wai is running the Empire State Trail, in honor of his good friend, Dennis Almodovar’s father, Ruban Almodovar, who passed away in 2017 after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Wai is also running to raise money for the Thomas Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Research at Stony Brook University and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“I didn’t choose to do it in this type of condition but at the same time I feel that you know life is life sometimes you just don’t have a choice,” Law explained. “You just push on.”

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Beginning in Buffalo on Friday, Wai has hit a few setbacks on his run so far. One night he had to sleep under a bridge as he struggled to find a good place to set up camp, and the extreme heat and unpredictable weather have put him behind his original schedule. Wai also had issues with the newly constructed trail near lock 20 in Marcy due to ongoing construction and the lack of signs indicating the correct route, but his optimism and people’s encouraging words and generosity have kept him going.

“Riding by, coming by and as soon as they pass me they realize that it’s me they turn back and said ‘good luck'” Law explained. “And I said, ‘oh that cheered me up’”

His 555 mile trek has taken him through parts of New York he’s never been to, and brought him in contact with new people who showed him the far-reaching impact that Parkinson’s Disease has on people and their families.

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“It turned out a lot of them are having the connection to Parkinson’s Disease,” Law said. “Which is what I want to learn about it that is the mission of my journey basically.”

Originally Wai had hoped to reach Battery Park by Sunday, July 4 but now it looks like he’ll be there by Monday, July 5.

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