CALAIS, Maine - Running approximately 40 miles daily for more than two and a half months, Connecticut-based ultrarunner Shan Riggs became the first person to run the entire 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway - a developing multi-use pathway stretching from Florida to Maine - when he reached the northern terminus of the route on Saturday, July 2.
Riggs departed Key West, Florida, on April 16 and reached Calais, Maine, 78 days later, taking just two rest days en route to the Canadian border.
At the finish, Riggs proposed to partner, cyclist Joshuaine (Josh) Grant, who supported the people-powered East Coast Greenway Expedition. She transported their supplies on a bike trailer, and while supporting Riggs’ run, Grant completed her own through-ride of the entire Greenway route.
Like the East Coast Greenway, Riggs’ run connected rural and urban communities throughout the United States’ most populated corridor. He experienced everything from being chased by a rooster in South Carolina to running around New York City on the Hudson River Greenway en route to Calais.
“It’s kind of an overwhelming experience at this moment - we finished! Seeing Calais, it was like a figment. It’s like an imaginary place … and here we are,” Riggs said.
Along the way, Riggs and Grant raised funds to support the nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance and awareness for the East Coast Greenway. Donations in honor of Shan’s effort are still being accepted with a goal of $30,000 to accelerate growth of the Greenway. Donations can be made online at greenway.org/shan.
Riggs generated millions of media impressions thanks to local news coverage in markets ranging from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Portland, Maine, as well as a pair of live national appearances on the Weather Channel.
The 43-year-old Riggs has completed 46 ultramarathon races - winning several - and has completed several multi-day expeditions all over the world raising money and awareness for a variety of charities. In 2020, Riggs ran more than 3,200 miles from San Francisco to the Connecticut coast, completing a west-to-east run of the continental United States.
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