By Jim Sullivan
---- — Some 282 civilians and firefighters turned out for the second annual Timmy Trot 5K Run and Walk Saturday through the back roads of Salisbury to honor fallen Salisbury firefighter Tim Oliveira.
“We know Timmy is watching us,” said Amesbury firefighter Ryan York. “Oh, absolutely.”
Dedicated to fallen firefighter Tim Oliveira, who died in a work-related accident in 2011, the sophomore Trot benefited the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and included an estimated 15 Salisbury firefighters who were joined by fellow Jakes from Newburyport, Amesbury, Topsfield and Rowley, while Georgetown firefighters took things one step further by running in full turnout gear on a blustery November morning.
“It’s a real honor,” Oliveira’s daughter, Nicole, said of the turnout. “It’s nice just to have everyone come out and remember Dad. I just want to thank everyone very much. I’m very appreciative.”
Oliveira’s co-worker, Victoria Dune-Chari, came up from Wakefield to run the race and has a special relationship with her friend.
“When Nicole lost her father, three months later I lost my mother,” said Dune-Chari. “So she organizes ths race, and I run it in honor of my mother. It works well. We talk about it all the time, so it is special to us. Nicole was very close to her dad, and she talks about him all the time. He was really her support system. So, we feel like we know him, and we have all the pictures of him around the office.”
Chris Mahoney, 35, of Haverhill finished first among the men with a time of 18:28. Heather Searless, 29, also of Haverhill was the first-place women’s finisher at 20:10.
Newburyport firefighter John Fish, 43, was the first firefighter to cross the finish line with a time of 23:20.
“There were a lot of firefighters out there, a lot,” said Fish. “This is my first year running this, but there certainly is a good turnout for firefighters. We’re from a neighboring town and it’s nice to support each other.”
Sixteen-year-old Tom Mullinger of Georgetown finished second in the firefighters’ division at 23:43, and Brian Nash, 24, of Middleton was third at 24:27.
Rowley firefighter Mark Winfrey was running with his 1-year-old daughter Madelyn and brother, Scott, a Topsfield smoke-eater.
“It feels good to get out there,” said Winfrey. “We support them any way we can.”
Newburyport Chief Steve Bradbury was running with his wife, Kelly.
“It was hard, I haven’t run in years,” said Bradbury. “But my wife got me to run. She’s the runner, so she ran with me, and I fought my way through. It was a lot of fun. We have a really close relationship with Salisbury. So it’s good to come out here and run in Timmy’s memory.”
“It’s a good turnout,” said Salisbury fire Chief Rick Souliotis. “It’s good to see everybody come out for the event.”
Salisbury firefighter Mike Reusch ran along with his son, CJ, and daughter, Jessica, and was delighted to see the roads filled with Salisbury residents supporting the runners.
“This town loves the fire department,” said Reusch. “We try to do our best and give them what they deserve. So, when we need help, they come out and support us. And it’s been like that forever.”
“These guys are all like uncles to me, so I’ve got to support them all,” Jessica said of the Salisbury firefighters. “(Tim) was always nice to me when I came in. He always called me, ‘Darlin’ so he was fun. He was a really nice guy.”