Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) He took "cross country" to the extreme in 2008. A Union-Endicott graduate ran across America in 116 days.
Now his journey is attracting interest in the entertainment world.
Andy Wahila's "Nation Run" is being shopped to various entertainment entities to be turned into a book, TV series or full-length movie.
Wahila is being represented by Chatham Communications Corporation. His agent and the company's President/CEO, Bruce Machlica, is a Vestal native.
"They saw potential in this story beyond what i thought and they see big things for it. I'm really excited for that. I am hopeful someone will pick it up so that we can tell the stories instead of me reliving my own stories to actually get it out there," said Wahila.
In 2008, Wahila and two of his friends from SUNY Oneonta ran more than 2,800 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. They started in Georgia and ended up in California.
It took about four months and they averaged more than a marathon every single day. The group ran on average 25 to 27 miles a day.
The idea started out as a unique way to see the country but it was also a way to remember Wahila's cousin, a soldier home on leave from Iraq, who died tragically in a crash in Endicott. Wahila and his friends honored the fallen hero dedicating the run in his memory.
Wahila documented each day with journals and pictures from every small town they stopped. Wahila has more than 3,000 pictures from the journey.
"It is amazing physically of what happened but I think more amazing is everything in between from town to town, actually reaching your destination is one thing but all the stories in between is what actually make up the story," said Wahila.
People all the way from Georgia to Arkansas to Texas to New Mexico opened their hearts and doors to Wahila and his friends. From offering a meal, roof over their head or just a cheer of support, Wahila says their story really shows the generosity of of those they encountered. That "true story" concept is one aspect that is attracting multiple entertainment entities.
"I think the uniqueness, the adventure, seeing a different side of the country, seeing how generous people were to us. There are a lot of different stories we have and every day is a new adventure and I don't think anyone else could really document it or experience anything quite like we did," said Wahila.
Wahila says memories that stick out from the trip are one stop in Alabama where it was 35 degrees and snowing. On top of that, they had two flat tires during that stop. The group pushed two Baby Joggers with all of their gear for the trip.
The group endured every weather condition imaginable, he says.
Since finishing his run in 2008, Wahila has run four marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice. He's now preparing for a 100 mile race in Vermont in July 2012.
Wahila received his Master's degree from Ithaca College. He now lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife.
Chatham Communications has worked with some of the highest profile stars in Hollywood and professional sports. The company is based in Victor, New York.
Chatham says they are looking for the right offer for Wahila's story, not just the first one that comes their way. They want the story to truly reflect Wahila's journey to include how the trip inspires, motivates and shows the true adventures the group had across America.