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New England couple finishes 3,000-mile journey in Maine with a proposal

Shan Riggs ran the entire East Coast Greenway over the last two months and when he finished in Calais, he proposed to his partner Josh Grant.

PORTLAND, Maine — It was a strict routine for Shan Riggs and Josh Grant during the last two and a half months. The two woke up around 4:30 a.m. and shortly after, took off on a daily 40 to 45 mile journey.

Riggs is an ultrarunner from Connecticut and said running long distances is an odd skill he has. He put that to the test as he ran the entire 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway that runs from Florida to Maine.

He finished the journey Saturday evening in Calais, and when he crossed the finish line, he proposed to Grant, who followed him every mile along the way on her bike or in their trailer.

“I think [the proposal] was kind of percolating in my mind for, I guess since Florida, but I kind of made up my mind somewhere in the northeast, maybe in New Jersey or New York," Riggs said during a zoom interview Sunday.

The two were finally able to relax on Sunday after the weeks-long effort to get to Maine. While it was a 40-mile-a-day grind for Riggs, he went on this journey for a good cause.

Credit: East Coast Greenway Alliance

“I’ve done some of these really crazy runs for charity, and we decided that the East Coast Greenway Alliance would be the perfect charity for this," he added.

The Alliance is the organization that is helping complete the Greenway and makes the entire 3,000-mile stretch its own trail. 

“I try to make it so we can do a little good with this weird thing that I’m able to do," Riggs said about his long-distance running abilities. "So, if we can point some attention and raise some money for a good cause, it makes me feel good about the whole endeavor.”

The 3,000-mile journey may not be for everybody, but Riggs said Mainers get out and explore Vacationland.

“First off, it’s a really big state and a beautiful coastline and a wonderful way to see it is on a bike and on foot so if people haven’t already, that live in the area, take advantage of these trails that are around," he added.

As you can expect, the two will take the next few days to rest until their next adventure sometime soon. 

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