AUSTIN (KXAN) - Drugs, gangs, prostitution- that's the reputation of North Austin's Rundberg neighborhood.
But one man is trying to change that. He's become a moving landmark known as "Running Man."
His real name is Broderick James but most call him Running Man.
"He just runs up and down, hops on things, look there you go right there," said Juriel Jaimes.
The relentless runner uses his legs, feet and voice to fight poverty and oppression, oppose obesity and lift spirits.
"When I see him--if I'm in a bad mood I get happy," said passerby K.C. Jones.
"He cracks me up. He's real good man," said Jaimes.
Running Man chose the intersection of Rundberg and Lamar after moving from Atlanta because he heard about problems in the area.
"I know that Rundberg and Lamar--evil still is present, but I want to outshine evil with good," said James.
People who've lived near the intersection for decades say his positive image helps the neighborhood overcome it's negative one.
"Is he dancing, is he running, what the hell is he doing, but I know he's bringing happiness and he's bringing hope to the area," said resident Dale Isbell.
"Everybody deserves to have a moment of happiness every single day," said James.
But James himself wasn't always this happy. A painful divorce, criminal background and depression once plagued him.
"I was on the verge of committing suicide two yeas ago, so I wanted to find a way to give the same motivation that I found--I want to give it back out," said James.
James said running changed his life, now he wants to help others change theirs.
"I want to let people know as long as there is life there's hope."
Running man runs about 20 miles a day. He's been making his presence known at the intersection for about two years. He's made a lot of friends in that time, although some weren't so sure at first.
"I thought he was weird at first then when I saw what he does he was kind of funny," said Jovaughna Chambers.
"People didn't understand me at first you know what I'm saying. Now it's like they started understanding the purpose you know what I'm saying," said James.
People not only get it now--they expect it.
"Love conquers all. We're doing it baby, we're doing it baby. I'm telling you man had work pays off man," said James.
One runner, changing perceptions, bringing smiles and sprinting toward a better future.
"Love ya'll, love ya'll."
James has his own Facebook fan page where he shares his messages and story.
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