After tragically losing his wife to breast cancer and struggling to raise three young children on his own, Terry Hitchcock seized on an idea. He wanted to accomplish the impossible: run 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days to bring attention to the incredibly difficult lives of single-parent families. My Run is more than a film about a guy running multiple marathons—it’s a film about the daily marathons we all run in life.
What inspired me to make this film was meeting Terry and listening to the story of his life: being a single parent, fighting through obstacles, the loss of loved ones, and his relentless pursuit and will to accomplish something monumental and meaningful. I was raised by a single parent and I understand firsthand what it’s like for a child to grow up in a single-parent household as well as how difficult it can be for the parent to cope with all of the life challenges of their situation.
Second, I absolutely dig “hero stories”—where people get beat down and fight their way back. In many senses, Terry is a real-life Forrest Gump, someone who had all the cards stacked against him and still managed to come out with a winning hand. Terry succeeded in the tremendous challenge of raising three kids on his own.
That’s an incredible accomplishment, but it’s not a unique one, many other single parents are going through the same thing. What makes Terry’s story special is that after raising his kids, he took it upon himself to make life better for other single parents and their kids. At the age of 57, out of shape, with heart, knee, and ankle problems, he decided to run from Minneapolis to Atlanta in 75 consecutive days to bring attention to and provide a voice for single-parent families. Despite the cold and heat, the rain and wind, the irate drivers trying to knock him off the road, the loss of all of his support team but one, Terry made it and touched thousands people with his message and courage along the way.
As an independent filmmaker, I understand that challenges and obstacles go along with filmmaking. I approach filmmaking and my life with what I call the “Rocky Balboa Attitude.” As long as you keep fighting and you don’t quit, you NEVER fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, smacked around, beat up, as long as you don’t stay down you always have a chance, an opportunity to succeed. I believe that if you have passion, a work ethic, and persistence, then you will be triumphant.
My Run is the 10-time award-winning and inspirational documentary, narrated by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton. The film is Directed and Produced by Tim VandeSteeg and produced by Mark Castaldo.
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