NEWPORT - Terry Hitchcock of Prior Lake, Minn., has been called Minnesota’s version of Forrest Gump. He earned the title when, in 1996, he ran the equivalent of a marathon (26 miles) for 75 straight days, running from St. Paul, Minn. to the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
His 2,000 mile journey has been transformed into the subject of a book and two movies. Among other honors, he has received the Distinguished Medal of Merit, bestowed upon him by President Ronald Reagan for his good works to humanity.
Yes, Hitchcock is considered Minnesota’s version of Forrest Gump, but North Troy, VT can also lay claim to him. The Minnesotan graduated from North Troy High in 1957. He will be this Sunday’s guest on the Vermont Voice radio show. He’ll talk about his life and what possessed him to do what many people said could never be done. Part 2 of this two-part series will air next Sunday.
The highly sought after motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, activist, and business consultant has entertained various audiences with a unique, passionate and heartfelt style of communicating. He reaches school children, university students, business leaders and professional athletes with the same enthusiasm, portraying the human spirit that comes from his personal experiences of adversity and triumph – and never giving up.
In addition to motivational speaking, Terry has authored the successful book, “American Business: The Last Hurrah?” and co-authored several books, including “A Father’s Odyssey,” upon which the films “My Run” and “Pushing Life” are based.
Driven by the experience of raising three children on his own after his wife died of cancer, Hitchcock wanted to accomplish the impossible – run the 2,000 miles between Saint Paul and Atlanta in 75 straight days to help Americans everywhere see how much single-parent families need their compassion and support.
To achieve his goal, he had to run the equivalent of one marathon each day for two and a half months, despite being 57 years old and having a weak heart, bad knees, and shaky ankles. And he did it! Hitchcock crossed his finish line in Atlanta in time for the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics.
The Vermont Voice radio show, which is hosted by Scott Wheeler, publisher of VT’s Northland Journal, airs on Sunday mornings at 7:30 on 1490AM WIKE in Derby. Many of the 150 plus VT Voice radio shows are found on the Northland Journal’s website at www.northlandjournal.com .