For Immediate Release
Date: October 6, 2015
Dozens of local runners turned out on a glorious Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the completion of a new running trail around Daffin Park, and to officially name it the Robert Espinoza Running Trail.
The $550,000 project creates a rubberized 1.5-mile trail around the park, along with new brick paver crosswalks and a new sidewalk along Bee Road. It's one phase of a larger SPLOST-funded plan that has improved Daffin Park with new ornamental lighting, hardscape, sidewalks, parking areas and playing fields.
"Daffin Park is so great because it offers so many opportunities to be active, and studies have shown that an active lifestyle improves health, increases brain development, and makes people happier," said Alderwoman Mary Ellen Sprague, whose 4th District includes Daffin. "Robert Espinoza knew all this, and his efforts to get more people out and active in the community has had lasting effects on our community. I can think of no better person to name this trail after."
Espinoza was a longtime Savannah running advocate who died earlier this year. He was co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports, located near Daffin Park. Mr. Espinoza worked tirelessly to promote running throughout Savannah. He was instrumental in developing a number of major races that raised millions of dollars for charities across the community, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Critz Tybee Run Fest, the Savannah Bridge Run, Tunnel to Towers, the Savannah Rock N Roll Marathon, and many others.
Alderwoman Sprague, 3rd District Alderman John Hall and Mr. Epinoza's family unveiled the new Robert Espinoza Running Trail sign and cut the ribbon on the facility. They were joined by Leisure Services Bureau Chief Joe Shearouse, City Development Services staffers who designed and oversaw the project, and close to 100 runners, most of whom have participated in running activities organized by Espinoza and his Fleet Feet Sports.
"Robert Espinoza knew how to motivate people, and that is why we are all here," said Fleet Feet Manager Chris Ramsey. "His goal was to promote fitness in the community, no matter your age or ability."