Farewell Robert Espinoza
In 2013, when publisher Michael Brooks asked me to write a cover story about Robert Espinoza—“The Jog Father,” we later named it—I didn’t know Robert well. But as a longtime runner in Savannah, I was already aware of the positive impact he was making on the city’s running scene. He opened the first store in Savannah dedicated solely to running (a pure luxury to all those who log a lot of miles). He brought races, lots of them, to the city and volunteered as their director. But, most importantly, he was a mentor to many young athletes. Eventually, as I got to know him, I met many of these younger runners. Some were also his employees, and I talked with them at length when researching his story. They loved him—as a boss, a friend, a coach and a fellow runner. More than all his war stories about running ultra marathons, possibly one of the most grueling sports in the world, though, I remember walking away from the interview being most impressed with the sense of community and camaraderie he had cultivated here. That was what he really brought to the sport of running in Savannah.
From all your friends at South magazine, you will be missed.