When Jamie Summerlin felt the calling to do something more meaningful with his life, the former U.S. Marine came up with an extreme idea. His desire to bring attention and assistance to wounded veterans led to a 100-day, 3,452-mile run across America. His journey was intended to inspire those who sacrificed for America's freedom, but along the way Summerlin realized he was the one being inspired. Freedom Run t only tells the story of Summerlin's amazing run across America and his attempt to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and other similar charities, but it reveals the heartfelt stories of the many veterans he met along the way. Beginning in Coos, Oregon, and ending in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Summerlin's trek across the nation and the stories of the veterans he encountered serve as an inspiring and eye-opening tale of courage, determination, and hor in America.
Jamie Summerlin is a Gulf War era veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps for six years. Currently, he serves as the president of the board of directors of Operation Welcome Home in Morgantown, West Virginia, and is involved in other veteran- focused programs, such as CamoToCap. He is also an inspirational speaker for business and professional organizations, schools, veteran groups and the running community. Summerlins passion for running began in 2009 while training for his first marathon. He has been hooked on ultramarathon running ever since. Though he has completed many challenging runs and races, one of his prides is a finishers medal from the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run that he completed in July of 2011 in a time of 24 hours, 53 minutes. His love for pushing himself to great distances, as well as witnessing the phenomenal things that Operation Welcome Home and other veteran-focused organizations have done for veterans, inspired him to come up with the idea of running across America in order to raise funds and awareness for such organizations. Summerlins Freedom Run, a 3,452-mile, 100-day endeavor that he completed in 2012, began in Coos Bay, Oregon, and ended in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and covered a total of 16 states and the District of Columbia, with the final 100 miles being completed in just less than 24 hours. He became the 48th person ever to complete a true coast-to-coast transcontinental run across America. His journey not only Matthew L. Brann is the director of Fitness Information Technology (FiT) and the International Center for Performance Excellence in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences at West Virginia University. Prior to his appointment as director, he served as the senior editor of FiT for eight years. A graduate of Purdue University with a degree in communication, he began his career as a sports journalist, working for daily newspapers in Illinois and Indiana. He later worked for a weekly sports magazine, covering Purdue athletics, and during that time was also a syndicated columnist for various newspapers in Indiana and a weekly guest on a local CBS affiliates weekend sports show. Brann has also served as a contributing writer for various regional and national magazines and websites. After vowing to never run a marathon again upon completion of his first in Baltimore in 2004, Brann was inspired by Jamie Summerlins run across America and, along with his wife, Maria, ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 2012. He and his wife reside in Morgantown, West Virginia, with their two children, Maverick and Makaleigh.