Best friends will run 26 miles for 26 girls - CBS46 News

Best friends will run 26 miles for 26 girls

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Running has been a part of Brooke Oliver's life for more than four years.

"It's a really awesome way to keep myself motivated to stay healthy," she said.

Oliver never intended to run a marathon, but come March 17, she'll run the Publix Georgia Marathon for a worthy cause.

"The campaign slogan is '26 Miles for 26 Girls,'" she explained.

Oliver's best friend, Erin-Leigh Patterson, will run with her.

Their ultimate goal is to raise $7,800 for She's The First, a non-profit that sponsors education for girls in developing countries.

"I have become more and more convinced that education is a huge key to alleviate poverty in the long term," Oliver said.

Each mile of the 26-mile race represents one student at the Kopila Valley Children's School in Nepal.

If Oliver and Patterson reach their fundraising goal, each of those 26 students would get $300, which would cover tuition, books, uniforms, lunches and healthcare for an entire school year.

"It's so amazing just to be reminded that this is so much bigger than just us," Oliver said.

Oliver said she is training five days a week.

"It means late nights after work, and I work a 10-hour day," she said. "So the training has been exhausting and that's probably why I said I would never do it, but here I am."

And even though Patterson lives in New York, the pals motivate each other via video chat and social media.

No matter how long it takes them to cross the finish line, the women take pride in knowing that in just 26 miles, they will change the lives of 26 girls, more than 7,000 miles away.

"They deserve an opportunity at life just as much as I do," Oliver said.

Click here to visit the 26 Miles for 26 Girls fundraising page.

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