Daryl Murphy has run a 5K for 115 consecutive days and traveled a distance equivalent to driving from Palo Alto to Los Angeles, but the Westside resident doesn’t intend to stop until he’s raised $5,000 in the name of Breonna Taylor.
A 5K run is 3.1 miles. One can accomplish the feat by traveling from Veterans Park in Culver City down to the Santa Monica Pier or by leaving Palisades Park and heading towards Venice’s famed Muscle Beach. But, most days, Murphy can be spotted simply jogging in local neighborhoods not too far from his home.
As an athlete who once competed in mid-distance races for the Ohio State University, Murphy once found himself running six to eight miles a day back in college, so the Miles for Justice campaign isn’t too exhaustive for the 28-year-old.
“But I’ve been out of school for about five-six years now and once I got out of school, I said, ‘I’m done with running. I’m never running again,’ because running is punishment for every sport, but for my sport, it was just what we did. And I was just tired of it,” Murphy said in an interview Wednesday.
Earlier this year though, a coworker who knew he was a former collegiate runner asked if he had some tips to get into shape, which prompted Murphy to agree to a 5K run to help his friend stay accountable.
“That was back towards the end of February, right before COVID hit, and that was the first 5K I had done in like five years,” Murphy said, detailing how he never intended to begin a streak until another friend contacted him about a 30-day 5K challenge a little while later. “I told him he’s crazy because there’s no way you’re going to run every single day,” but around the time of George Floyd’s untimely death in May, Murphy said he was about 45 days into his current streak.
“So in June, I had a campaign for a just Black Lives Matter in general and Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd were the main inspirations for that,” Murphy said. “I ran 30 days in a row in June… a whole month and I was able to raise $5,000,” which went to The Action PAC’s Grassroots Law Project.
In July, Murphy found himself again hitting the pavement. This time to pay tribute to Breonna Taylor.
“Because arrests have happened in (the Floyd and Arbery) murders but no arrests have happened in her case and it’s kind of not trending or being talked about as much anymore,” Murphy said. “So now, I’m doing a 5K a day to raise $5,000 for Breonna Taylor, and all that money is going to an organization called Until Freedom,” which describes itself as an intersectional social justice organization that seeks to address systemic and racial injustice.
“I’ve never raised any money before in my life,” Murphy said, so it’s taken quite a bit of research to find credible organizations that are directly able to assist others who are assisting with the cause. But the former Buckeye is undeterred and considers himself lucky to be in a position to assist.
In June, during his first Miles for Justice campaign, Murphy said he was running when he happened across a rally at City Hall. He would speak about his campaign, which really helped bring some notoriety to the cause. He’s also been hustling back and forth between social media apps in an attempt to direct message random people to see if they’d be interested in donating anything to his Pledge It campaign.
“Breonna Taylor’s case is just so unique, you know? It’s in Kentucky, which is a state in the South where they’re really big proponents of the Second Amendment. And just the raid on her house — there were so many things that were wrong about it,” Murphy said, describing how he’s read reports of officers shooting from outside the house and Taylor’s boyfriend being a licensed firearm carrier who thought somebody was trying to rob his house in the wee hours of the night. “And I think because a big reason why she hasn’t got justice yet is that it’s not on video. We don’t have any bodycam footage. We don’t have any cell phone footage. And in 2020, seeing is believing — so if we don’t see something on video, then people kind of don’t care as much or they question if it really did happen. But her life still matters and she should still get justice. And the men that murdered her should still be arrested even though it wasn’t on video.”
In the meantime, Murphy said he will continue to run for the cause and invited the community, which has been really supportive, to a community Run for Justice event that he will host at 8 a.m. next Saturday, Aug. 15, at Rose Market, located at 3300 Overland Avenue.
“Everybody is invited and we’re only asking people to give a donation to the campaign at pledgeit.org/sayhername,” Murphy said. “It could be whatever you can give — $1, $5, $20 — anything will help.”