My Run: Terry Hitchcock and the Faith to Endure
Get to know the man who set out on the impossible journey of running 75 marathons in 75 days and the movie about his courageous spirit.
BY: Jennifer E. Jones
“No runner that I ever met said that I could do this,” Terry says. “They would say it was humanly impossible. Every doctor said, ‘You just can’t do this,’ because while I was training, I had a heart attack halfway through. My cardiologist said, ‘Don’t do this. You won’t live to tell your story.’ So all those things were against me, but I just felt with my own faith that this was something I should do – that when I completed it, it’s a story for the ages.’”
Despite the odds, Terry hit the streets running with a small team of friends and family. Soon enough he realized just how difficult the journey would be.
“First of all, the pounding that you put your body through is incredible. Halfway down to Atlanta, both my ankles were fractured and my left kneecap also had a fracture. I was in pain every day and just had to learn to bear it and run above it.”
Worst yet, after 30 days of running, his team began to disband. “Five of the six said, ‘We’re going to go home,’ because it wasn’t fun. It was very hard work. They were young and they missed their friends. The 31st day I’m standing on the side of the road with a trailer going home, and beside me is my oldest son Christian. He is looking at me saying, ‘Dad, I’m not going to leave you.’ It seemed like Chris and I against the world.”
The father and son team had to figure out how to keep Terry fed and hydrated on a regular schedule and find places to sleep along the way. Terry recalls, “It was a challenge, but it was also like the daily marathons we all run. Every day is a challenge and you have to figure it out and you have to pick your stuff up and keep going.”
Terry drew a lot of inspiration from his time on the road. He was also inspiring to others. He says, “I would see children everyday. They’d come up to me and hug me. Moms would have tears in their eyes, and men would shake my hand. I truly saw the heartbeat of this country; it can be very tough out there. They would come up to me and say, ‘You saved my life. If you can do that, I now think maybe I can get through my days too.’”