Man runs 100 miles through Sandias to benefit group of volunteers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Matthew Thompson and his team gathered at the base of the Sandia Tram Friday evening to prepare for a 100-mile run through the Sandias.

The route will take him on a big circle through the mountains – ending back at the tram on Sunday.

“I’ve always wanted to run 100 miles in the mountain,” Thompson said.

The avid runner has spent the last four years stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base. He is about to leave Albuquerque for a new assignment, but before he leaves, he came up with the idea for the Watermelon 100 Project – a fundraiser to benefit Friends of the Sandia Mountains, a volunteer group that maintains the mountain’s trails.

“I really didn’t spend enough time while I was living here in Albuquerque giving back to the trails and doing trail maintenance or even volunteering at different organizations,” Thompson said. “I’m about to leave for the summer and head to Washington, D.C., so before I go I wanted to find a way to give back more than just a small donation of my own.”

On GoFundMe, Thompson has already raised more than $6,000 for the run.

“I’ve got about 15 or 16 people who are going to run different sections with me and then, of course, my family, my wife and parents and sister, are out here,” he said. “They’re going to be crewing around the mountain. So they’ve got 12 or 13 places that they’re going to drive to, to get me food and water and help out the people who are pacing me.”

Thompson also hopes his run will help raise awareness about the wonderful, natural resource.

“It’s pretty much the most beautiful wilderness that’s touching a city in the entire United States and we’ve got an awesome gift here, so go out and use it, and enjoy it however you want to,” he said.

To donate to Matthew’s run or track his real-time progress, click here.