TikToker Gains Following for Daily Runs in Honor of Ahmaud Arbery

Today marks day 337 that Ellis Harrison, a student at the University of Missouri, has been running daily for a greater cause. Harrison, who documents his daily runs on TikTok, has gathered more than 51k followers and millions of likes.

He dedicates his run to Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black jogger who was followed and fatally shot in Glynn County, Georgia on February 23, 2020.

"I will run every day until Ahmaud Arbery gets justice," he captions each of his videos.

Harrison's first running video captioned with #justiceforahmaud dates back to May 11, 2020.

"I started it after other people were having protests," Harrison told WSAV. "I felt a special connection to it, so I tried to do a protest in a way that I could at the time."

He has amassed thousands of followers along the way who have encouraged and applauded his efforts. "Stay safe king. Your determination is so inspiring. Keep fighting for justice," one of them commented.

Another wrote, "Watching you go out and run every day is truly amazing to see. We support you immeasurably, stay safe and Ahmaud will get justice."

"It gives me a lot of motivation to keep going. When I see people are supporting me, it makes it easier to keep going," he said in a video shared by WSAV.

"When I first started, I wasn't getting a lot of views, but I was still going to do it anyway," Harrison told the news station. "Of course, I wouldn't use [the money] for myself because that's not what it's for. The best thing I could do was donate it."

Harrison has donated the money he's earned from his TikTok views to organizations fighting against systemic racism, like Miles for Justice, and the Equal Justice Initiative.

"That's where the motivation comes from," Harrison said. "We've seen in the past that the things that seem like clear-cut cases where people should get convicted don't normally happen all the time."

Harrison said that he really feels for Arbery's family and can't help but imagine his own mother's anguish if it happened to him.

Harrison has been faithful to his dedication to run daily, braving snowfall, rain and extreme temperatures along the way. Over 300 days later, followers wonder how much longer he'll have to run.

"I was really hoping by now the running would have ended, I am so sorry," one commented.

Public outcry following police shootings has continued since Arbery's death. Earlier this week, 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant was fatally shot by police within hours of ex-officer Derek Chauvin's murder conviction in the shooting of George Floyd.

Ahmaud Arbery
Tennis champion Naomi Osaka wore a protective face mask with the name, Ahmaud Arbery stenciled on it at 2020 US Open on September 04, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York City. Al Bello/GETTY