Patty Fantasia

Enjoy an Inspiring Journey with “My Run”

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Patty Fantasia



Enjoy an Inspiring Journey with “My Run”

One documentary that has been winning awards as well as the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere is the inspiring “My Run”. Based on the true life story of Terry Hitchcock, the film covers his grueling journey running 75 marathons in 75 consecutive days to raise awareness for the plight of single parents. A widower whose wife died of breast cancer leaving him to raise three children alone, Hitchcock decided he wanted to do something to benefit his family and others and the marathons were the first step he took in doing so.



Marathoner Terry Hitchcock


Following his amazing cross country run, Terry wrote a book A Father’s Odyssey before his story was brought to the big screen by Producer/Director Tim VandeSteeg, CEO of Indiewood Pictures in collaboration with Producer Mark Castaldo, CEO of Destiny Pictures. Co-Producer Christine Redlin has taken on the responsibility for promoting the documentary at film festivals, events and via social media on the internet. All four people had interesting insights to share about the documentary and its effect on people’s lives.

Asked how he came up with the idea of using the marathons, Hitchcock explained, “For many years, actually since the early 80’s, my hero was Terry Fox, a young Canadian, with an artificial leg, who had attempted to walk/run across Canada length-wise. Sadly, Terry didn’t make it across because the cancer that took his leg was then found residing in his lungs as he attempted his run/walk. He then had to leave the highway never to return. Terry died shortly after leaving his attempted Marathon of Hope.”   

Although Hitchcock has seen changes since his run in 1996, in his opinion there haven’t been enough. “Yes, there are programs, but nothing like I would have hoped to experience by now. There are still the challenges and the uphill battles…and sadly, life still goes on without a level of awareness that I would like to envision. It sometimes feels that everyone is too busy to care about the daily struggles of the single parent,” he believes...

All of his experiences have taught Terry lots of valuable life lessons, which he has passed on to his own children throughout the years. Perhaps the most important one to him is “to always believe in yourself, to know that no one can take away your dreams, and that nothing is impossible.”



Group shot of the "My Run" Production Team


For Co-Producer Christine Redlin, telling people about “My Run” has been a labor of love that she thoroughly enjoys. She said, “One of my mottos in life is that people should strive to “feel and think better” each day so, the multiple empowerment and inspirational messages that “My Run” carries, supports that motto that I want to share with others. I love reaching out to people via e-mail and phone and making the connection, then meeting them in person at a film festival and giving them a handshake or hug hello. I am a ‘people’ person, (but I also love my alone time :)! I like to give back to others, I thrive on written and oral communication and I like to energize people and make them feel good. I like that however I contacted them, I want them to feel they have received a gift from us of Terry’s inspirational story, which is for the betterment of others.”

On a personal level, Redlin has one friend who is a breast cancer survivor and another that is a single parent, adding to her personal connection to this project. She values what she has learned working on “My Run” and admits this knowledge has enhanced her relationships with these friends. “Yes, I practice it already but, apply it more…the acts of compassion, acceptance, understanding and support. Terry’s achievement and the achievement of these two close friends, reinforces that we are never alone if people have faith that there is something greater than all of us, that will help us through any challenged situation. It also reminds me that these friends, like Terry, are everyday heroes – I applaud them and their example to persevere, is helping to make the world a better place,” she said

Perhaps best known for producing a series of “Perfect” original story films including “The Perfect Tenant” and “The Perfect Nanny”, Producer Mark Castaldo has found his collaboration with Director/Producer Tim VandeSteeg on this project to be a successful one. Describing “My Run” as a terrific experience, Mark admits that for the most part he and Tim have been on the same page creatively allowing them to implement tasks in unison.

Born and raised in New York, Castaldo started out in the casino business working for 10 years in Atlantic City and Las Vegas before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue his current line of work. He said that the casino industry taught him interesting people skills he currently uses running a production company. “In the film business you have to deal with a lot of personalities and egos. This is also true in the casino business from your co-workers, the bosses and the customers – plenty of ego and personality being thrown around. You learn how to deal with it- not to say I don’t have an ego, I do too,” he commented.

Producer/Director Tim VandeSteeg has been an independent filmmaker for the last 19 years and strives to take on projects like “My Run” that are inspirational as well as being designed to succeed financially. “Filmmaking is such a battle, I decided awhile back to only devote my time to film projects that I connect with and would like to see and would be proud to be a part of,” he said.

This is exactly why he found “My Run” to be such a good fit for Indiewood Pictures. “What makes Terry’s story special is that after raising his kids, he took it upon himself to make life better for other single parents and their kids. At the age of 57, out of shape, with heart, knee and ankle problems, he decided to fun from Minneapolis to Atlanta in 75 consecutive days to bring attention to and provide a voice for single parent families. Despite the cold and heat, the rain and wind, the irate drivers trying to knock him off the road, the loss of all of his support team but one, Terry made it and touched hundreds if not thousands with his courage and his message along the way. “My Run” is a hero story of a husband, father and ordinary man who wanted to use his experience as a single parent to help others despite whatever obstacles and challenges stood in his way,” Tim concludes.



One unexpected bonus that gave the filmmakers a burst of enthusiasm came when they attached Academy Award winning actor Billy Bob Thornton as the documentary’s narrator. “While grinding away in post-production, a defining moment happened – a major boost that we all needed came through when a good friend of mine (who occasionally works with Billy Bob Thornton) saw a rough cut of “My Run”. Our wish was to secure Billy Bob as our narrator. I’ve been a big fan of Billy Bob as an actor and a filmmaker; I think every indie filmmaker is a fan of “Sling Blade”.

Later that week Tim received a text from his friend praising the film and promising to pass it along to Thornton. A short while later VandeSteeg received an email from one of the actor’s producers saying he had agreed to be their narrator. “We recorded the narration at Billy Bob’s studio, which is where his group the Boxmasters records. After the narration was completed, we had a few moments to talk filmmaking… I mentioned to him that we needed an end credit song for our film and asked if he had something that would work. He smiled, and then mentioned that he had the perfect song and proceeded to play “Every King Wears a Crown”. The first line went as followed “There’s a lot of warriors out on the road”. He was right, it was the perfect song.”


Next up is a feature film based on Hitchcock’s story called “Pushing Life”. For more information and updates about “My Run” visit their website at

People can also support the documentary by Liking them on Facebook at or following them on Twitter at



Narrator for "My Run" Actor Billy Bob Thornton