Midlands teen looks back at 100 mile journey to honor veterans - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Midlands teen looks back at 100 mile journey through the Florida Keys to honor veterans

(Source: Murrin Family) (Source: Murrin Family)
(Source: Murrin Family) (Source: Murrin Family)

It was a memorable Fourth of July holiday for 15-year-old Breanna Murrin and her family.

On Friday, Breanna accomplished something pretty amazing.

She finished her 113 mile journey from Key Largo to Key West, Florida, all to help honor our nation's heroes.

The Spring Valley High School student said she had the support of many to help keep her going.

"When I did this run it was kind of more 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."

There's not many people who can say they ever spent the days leading up to the Fourth of July running down the Florida Keys. 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 Fourth of July,'" Breanna said.

Breanna's dad, Sgt. First Class Chris Murrin, who is at recruitment officer at Fort Jackson, said they planned out a manageable running schedule so it would be fun.

"We had to try to break up 100 miles into manageable pieces," Chris said.

Over six days Breanna's run took her from Key Largo, all the way down to Key West.

Each day, Breanna ran 20 miles, all while carrying the American Flag.

"You would wake up in the morning around 4:30-ish," Breanna said. "I would tell my dad I'd just rather run in the evening... but it'd be too hot by then. We'd drive to where we left off the day before and then we'd run. 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."

Even though it was challenging at times, Breanna had the support and her family to keep her going.

Breanna's sister Danielle and her dad would be at her side every day. Her mom would also drive ahead to make sure the 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 kindness of strangers.

"As we were running some cars would honk and people would salute," Danielle said.

All culminating with a moment that Breanna will remember for years to come.

"When we were running, it was maybe like the last 100 meters and I couldn't believe that it was right there," Breanna said. "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.'"

For Chris, it's a trip that will always hold a special place in his heart.

"I'm really, really, really proud of them," he said.

And looking back, Breanna said the 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.

Breanna said she also made the trip to bring awareness to one the Columbia chapter of Team Red, White and Blue, which works to keep veterans active in the community.

The young runner said she already has a few future goals lined up including attending West Point and working for NASA.

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