'Give some love': Papa Roach front man runs for a cause in Destin

Matt Algarin | The Log
Crestview resident A'Darius Knight, 20, was one of the many that came out to Destin's Hard Rock Cafe Wednesday night for a meet and greet with Jacoby Shaddix, lead singer of Papa Roach, who is out supporting the non-profit organization Run It Forward. Shaddix signed Knight's guitar.

After logging 133 miles on foot Wednesday, the team from Run It Forward stopped by Destin’s Hard Rock Café for a meet and greet event with Papa Roach front man Jacoby Shaddix.

“Today I did 12.1 (miles), exactly,” Shaddix told The Log, adding that he is averaging about 10 and 15 miles a day.

With anxious fans lined out the restaurant doors, Shaddix and his fellow runners shared the message of Run It Forward, a non-profit organization founded by Erika Small that aims to educate America’s youth on the importance of fitness, nutrition and the value of health and dental care.

To watch a video from the meet and greet, CLICK HERE.

As part of the group’s annual run, they visit schools along the way and hold assemblies where the children can meet the team of ultra runners. The Run It Forward team always leaves behind cash donations and a self-contained after-school program that challenges kids to get moving called Project FIT. FIT stands for F: Fight for your dreams; I: Imagine a better version of yourself; and T: Start today.

“We are so emotionally connected to the students in the schools, to advance equal education, accessibility to fitness and nutrition, that when we come into a school, we come in full throttle, full tilt with guys like Jacoby,” said Jason Harper, the organization’s executive director. “When we look into the eyes of these kids and see that they are not just seeing hope, but they are feeling hope, we get back on the bus and we are ready to run again.”

After Wednesday’s event in Destin, the team was up at the crack of dawn Thursday morning to make their way to the next stop, a school in Mobile, Ala. The goal was to make the roughly 100-mile run by noon.

For Shaddix, a father of four, Run It Forward allows him to give back to America’s youth.

“To give some love to these kids that maybe are coming up in a town where they don’t see that they have a future… or some of these kids don’t have that hope and that light, we just come around to try and shed some inspiration and shed some hope,” he told The Log. “It not only impacts the children at the school, but the teachers as well — it’s awesome.”

To learn more about Run It Forward visit or find them on Facebook and Twitter.