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Richmonder runs the Tour de France course

5/21/2013, 3:09 p.m.
Zoë Romano has been training for a journey no one in the world has ever attempted. The 25-year-old is running ...
Zoe Romano

— Zoë Romano has been training for a journey no one in the world has ever attempted.

The 25-year-old is running the entire route of the Tour de France, an eight-week feat she set out for on May 18 in Nice. Romano expects to be logging 30-35 miles a day until she reaches the finish in Paris on July 20. That’s more than a marathon every day.

This never attempted feat is not just for a shot at a world record. It is also for a good cause.

Romano is running in support of the World Pediatric Project (WPP), a Richmond-based international humanitarian organization that provides access to surgical and diagnostic medical care for children in Central America and the Caribbean. Through her run she hopes to raise significant funds and awareness to benefit WPP and the thousands of children who will benefit from its services in the coming years.

The Millwood School has a history of promoting running, both competitively and as part of a healthy lifestyle. The school’s Interact Club is leading the “Keep Zoe Running Campaign,” and has committed to helping Romano reach her goal of raising $100,000 for WPP by pledging $1,500 to sponsor a day of her run on June 3rd.

Romano is not a novice runner. In 2011, she ran 2,867 miles across the U.S., alone, becoming the first female to ever complete such a trek without a support vehicle and raising over $15,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“Zoe is an awe-inspiring role model for our students and a champion for running," said Dr. Louise Bagwell-Robinson who heads the Chesterfield County-based Millwood School, a Romano supporter. "Her run will help to bring awareness to the World Pediatric Project and raise funds for a great cause.”

Inspired by World Pediatric Project’s mission to provide critical care to children in developing countries, Romano began to plan out her Tour de France journey run to raise funds for the organization.

“Running makes me feel like a kid again,” said Romano. “I hope that my running challenge will draw more attention to the mission of WPP and give these kids a chance to enjoy their childhood.”

When asked who in their right mind would take on such an incredible challenge, Romano said it’s just a matter of getting started.

“We are all capable of the extraordinary,” she said. “You just have to begin it. Whether it’s running six blocks of your neighborhood or completing a marathon, it’s what inspired you to start that will keep you going.”