Brothers Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby hopped on a flight from Sacramento to Parkland, Florida, earlier this week and went right to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They said they needed to see the place where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting earlier this month.
“We were very emotional,” said Jeremiah Godby, 24.
He described the experience as overwhelming, but also said it felt good to see the community coming together. They brought a California flag and laid it down with the flowers, candles and other gifts.
Then, they started their 1,060-mile journey from Parkland to Washington, D.C. — on foot.
Their goal is to walk or run about 40 miles a day for 26 days. The finish line will be the March for Our Lives rally, where thousands of people — including students who survived the recent shooting — will call for stronger gun regulations.
“You have to run, or walk or crawl — but you have to keep moving forward,” said Isaiah Godby, 27.
He said every step he and his brother take is for the students. “We’re gonna keep fighting to find a solution and hopefully that solution is in D.C.,” he said.
The brothers are fundraising online for food and lodging, and plan to donate any extra dollars to the students’ cause.
Each day, the Godbys wake up, eat breakfast and head north to D.C. They route their runs with a mobile app, and stop to sleep as close to the path as they can.
While they jog and walk, they push their food, clothing and other belongings in a baby stroller
“So we get a lot of crazy looks from mothers thinking we have a baby running on the freeway or highway, so a lot of people stop us and ask, “What’s going on?’” Jeremiah Godby said.
The brothers aren’t professional athletes, but this is the fourth long-distance run they’ve done as a pair. They work together at a naturopathic medicine clinic in Sacramento, and said their closeness as siblings helps them get through the long days.
“Everything we’re out here doing, it doesn’t always feel good for us, it’s not always comfortable,” Isaiah Godby said. “We’re out here putting our bodies on the line because we strongly believe a solution is needed.”