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Savannah woman runs from Maine to Key West to raise money for nonprofit supporting single parents

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 11:11 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Could you run 29 marathons in 29 days? One woman from Savannah did just that and she did it for a good cause.

“Good morning everybody. We are in Rhode Island. We have about 13 point something, 14 miles to get out of Rhode Island. We’ll definitely get that done today and we’ll be in Connecticut,” said Patricia Espre.

Espre ran for the last 29 days straight. She says she started in Lubec, Maine, the easternmost point in the U.S. and ended Saturday morning in Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S.

“At one point I didn’t think I was going to make it because I didn’t think I could walk. My legs, literally, I could not lift my leg,” she said.

Why did she choose to go on this journey? Espre says for starters, she was getting bored and wanted to challenge herself physically. She says she also wanted to raise money and awareness for single parents.

“I know the struggle,” Espre said.

Espre is a single mother herself. She says luckily she has family to help her raise her children when she goes to work, but some single parents don’t have this help.

“I think we’re so judgmental of single parents and we need to understand that not all single parents are there because they picked the wrong partner or because the partner is just a bad person. Sometimes life happens,” she said.

Espre says her youngest daughter’s father passed away.

“There’s not a 1-800 number to heaven. It’s me,” she said.

As she ran through the cold rain in Maine and through the humid heat in Georgia, people were seeing what she was doing and decided to donate. So far, she’s raised $2,500 for a nonprofit organization called The Drake House.

“They help find apartments, and so you can get back on your feet, so that the single parents and their kids don’t get separated through the foster system,” said Espre.

Along the way, a medical team and her two daughters cheered her on as she crossed state line after state line.

“Everybody thinks that I’m completely insane, but they’re proud of me doing it. But I also, I had both of my daughters watching me, so there was no option. There was no option of giving up,” Espre said.

To prepare, Espre says she had to run at least 20 miles a week. She says she is already thinking about her next run, but she says it won’t be for a few years.

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