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Marathon scoot across state at 7 mph succeeds in six days

Mark Schmidt is surrounded by an entourage during his scoot through his hometown of Perham, en route to the Twin Cities a a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A Perham man's foot powered scooter trek from Moorhead to the Twin Cities was completed in six days-raising more than $7,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The "Scootin' to the Next Level" marathon covered more than 230 miles from the start in Moorhead, April 22, to the arrival at Target Field, April 27.

"We were pretty much on schedule; we figured five or six days," said Mark Schmidt, founder of the local "Dreams for Kids/Make-A-Wish Foundation" group.

The rigors of pushing a scooter nearly across an entire state was not without a little agony. After only his first day, blisters plagued his feet. Thanks to a knee surgery years ago, Schmidt's bum knee troubled him all the way-and he's been limping for three days. Sunburn and windburn were other issues.

In the process-Shmidt lost 20 pounds.

"If I ever did this again," Schmidt paused, with hint of reluctance in his laugh, "I'd probably try to get into better physical shape."

"Downhill, I got about 15 miles an hour," said Schmidt. But his average speed was about 7 mph.

The marathon scooter run for the Make-A-Wish Foundation covered 64 miles on April 22, after a celebratory send-off in Moorhead. Schmidt was surrounded by Moorhead dignitaries, regional Lions governors, and television cameras prior to take-off.

"Outstanding" is how Schmidt described the Moorhead launch event; and his trip through Perham and New York Mills, on day 2.

"It was very emotional to see people come out and support see your friends and family get behind you," said Schmidt. "It's not every day that business owners waving at you from their storefronts, cheering you on."

Perham area native Schmidt at least $7,200 by the time he came to a rolling stop in his hometown Thursday night.

As one of the founders of the local "Dreams for Kids" group, which raises funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Schmidt has been a driving force in organizing the annual charity motorcycle ride, which is planned for July 24 this year.

The Perham Lions, of which Schmidt is a member, is one of the lead sponsoring organizations. Contributions from Lions Clubs have come in from throughout the state.

Publicity and media coverage was widespread for Schmidt's unusual trek--including numerous TV, Radio and newspaper reporters.