By Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A British man ran nearly 100 miles from New York City to Philadelphia over the weekend with the goal of raising awareness about mental illness.
Simon Whitehouse started his run at Central Park in New York on Saturday morning. He finished on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia with a run up the steps of the Art Museum, just like Sylvester Stallone in the first ‘Rocky’ movie.
The 100 mile challenge, which Whitehouse calls “Simon’s Rocky Road” was meant to raise awareness about mental illness and to pay tribute to his brother, Stephen, who suffered a severe mental breakdown 20 years ago and has suffered from schizophrenia ever since. It was also done to fulfill a childhood dream. As boys, Simon and Stephen would watch the movie ‘Rocky‘ together and dream of being ‘Rocky Balboa’ running up the Art Museum steps.
Whitehouse ran half of his race during the day and the other half at night. He says the times he chose to run paralleled his brother’s life, who turned 40 years old on Sunday.
“You know, he was a perfectly capable, young adult, full of potential,” Whitehouse said, “but in the second half it has been very dark with a lot of pain and a lot of suffering.”
Whitehouse says after he ran through Trenton he had to give up running and finish the last 20 miles on his bike.
“I just shutdown,” he said. “Physical, mental, shutdown. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Whitehouse says that one of his goals is to receive a personal message from Sylvester Stallone, in ‘Rocky Balboa’ accent, saying: “Yo Stephen! Happy Birthday to ya! Your brother did it!”