Photo and video courtesy of WIS / CNN
By Mike DeSumma
COLUMBIA, SC (July 7, 2014) – It was a memorable Fourth of July holiday for 14-year-old Breanna Murrin and her family.
The South Carolina girl finished a 113 mile journey from Key Largo to Key West, Florida on Independence Day.
Breanna Murrin look backs at her trip that helped bring attention to veterans.
“When I did this run it was kind of like running continuous half marathons,” Breanna said. “It wasn’t that hard and I don’t think it required much training…You just has to have mentality for it.”
At 14 years old, some may say Breanna not only has perseverance but also physical stamina.
There’s not many people who can say they ever spent the days leading up to July 4 running down the southernmost tip of the US.
For the high school sophomore the journey would begin as an idea for a family trip.
“We were like… why don’t we just run through the Florida Keys and bring the flag to honor the veterans on the 4th of July,” Breanna remembers.
“We had to try to break up 100 miles into manageable piece,” her father Chris said.
Over six days, Breanna’s run took her from Key Largo all the way down to Key West.
Each day she would run 20 miles, all the while carrying the American flag.
But while some sites were majestic to see, the long trek down Route 1 was still tough.
“You would wake up in the morning around 4:30ish. We’d drive to where we left off the day before…and then we’d run,” Breanna said. “Towards the last few miles of each run…My legs would kind of would be sore…And I would be like…I just want this to be over with. It was hard.”
Yet the run was not one that Breanna would make alone.
Her little sister Danielle and father Chris would be at her side every day. Her mom would also drive ahead to make sure roads were clear.
“Everything kind of evolved and I think we got a lot more out of it,” Chris said.
And through it all…The family encountered something else… The gratitude of many strangers.
“Just running along and people honking at us and saying good job,” Danielle said.
“As we were running some cars would honk and people would salute,” Breanna said. “When we were running there was this man who was running the opposite direction of us and he just stopped and he saluted us the entire way we were running and it was really touching.”
All culminating with a moment that Breanna still remembers… The thrill of the finish.
“When we were running…It was maybe like the last 100 meters and I couldn’t believe that it was right there. There were people taking pictures and we kind of just busted up in there and we’re just like ‘we’re finally done…But it was amazing,” Breanna said.
“I’m really really, really proud of them,” Chris said.
And looking back this 14 year old says her experience gave her pride in one thing… The people of her country.
“A lot of people make the argument that the love for America died down. But after doing this, I realized people still love America as much as they did back in the day,” Breanna said.
Watch video here.