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Phoenix’s ‘Marathon Musician’ embarks on epic run for charity

(Facebook Photo/Lee Perreira)

PHOENIX – The Valley’s “Marathon Musician” is earning his nickname, and he’s doing it for a good cause.

On Sunday, Lee Perreira started in Phoenix on a 400-plus-mile charity mission of 16 marathons in 16 days.

He plans to finish the trek April 8 at the Burbank, California, studio of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

The singer/guitarist is livestreaming every step of his journey on Facebook.

Before Tuesday’s third leg, he told KTAR News 92.3 FM he was feeling good besides some shakiness in his right knee. But his determination was unshaken.

“If I have to walk and take 10 hours every day, I’ll walk,” he said.

Perreira said the 16-marathon odyssey grew from attempts to get his music showcased by DeGeneres. He started submitted blogs to her show’s website about his daily life, and it was an eye-opening exercise.

“When I started realizing what I was already doing, it made me realize how much more I really could do,” he said.

“It’s kind of been some kind crazy universal swirl of things.”

Perreira’s goal is to raise $1 million to split evenly among four charities, but he had a long way to go both in miles and money on Tuesday morning, when the pledge total on his GoFundMe page was just above $4,400.

He’s hoping to raise $250,000 each for the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children, Chrysalis’ Driving out Domestic Violence, the Arizona Health Care Foundation and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (a cause championed by DeGeneres).

“These things are personal to me,” Perreira said. “It’s why I know that I’ll finish these 16 days no matter what I have to do.”

Perreira’s GoFundMe page says he got his “Marathon Musician” nickname at last year’s Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, where he completed the 26.2-mile run and performed on the main stage 45 minutes later.

According to a Facebook post, he completed Sunday’s leg in under 6½ hours.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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