After 218 days and 3,311 miles, Torrey Pines High School alumnus Brady Silverwood completed a run across America Dec. 8 in Del Mar when he reached the ocean at Powerhouse Park.
“It feels so cool just to be celebrating with all the loved ones in my life,” he said, standing on the beach surrounded by family, friends and other supporters who had been following his journey.
Along the way, Silverwood raised about $38,000 for organizations including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which he chose due to his own struggles with depression over the past few years. Some of the others were Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project.
When he arrived in San Diego, Silverwood ran past some familiar local landmarks, including Solana Santa Fe Elementary School, where he was once a student. The final three miles of his journey began at 10 a.m. at Torrey Pines High School.
“This means so much to me,” he said, speaking to a crowd of supporters who gathered in the school’s parking lot, several of whom joined him on his final run.
Running into Del Mar, down 15th Street, into Powerhouse Park and past a collage of photos from throughout the journey, he joined almost 100 people who gathered on an overcast, rainy Sunday morning to celebrate his accomplishment.
“Before the run today I just felt massive amounts of gratefulness to be here in this moment,” Silverwood said. “No matter what I’ve been through in my life, ups and downs, it’s just led me here, so it’s all worth it.”
Silverwood, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, began the coast-to-coast trek on May 5 when he touched the Atlantic Ocean in Keansburg, New Jersey. He was accompanied throughout the run by a friend driving an RV. The media and his family dubbed him a “real-life Forrest Gump,” referring to the Tom Hanks character who completed a similar feat.
Silverwood said he persevered by “trying to stay in the moment and not thinking too far ahead.”
“If I couldn’t take it day by day, then I would really get caught up in whatever I was going through and get overwhelmed with how many miles and days I have left,” he said.
Silverwood documented his run on the Instagram account @bradyrunsamerica. For more information about his fundraising, visit pledgeit.org/brady-runs-america.