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Ending of Tyson’s Run Explained

The ending of Tyson’s Run shows Tyson completing the marathon, symbolizing his journey towards self-acceptance and reconciliation with his father. The film highlights themes of perseverance, family support, and the challenges faced by individuals with autism.

Tyson’s Run, a 2022 drama, tells the story of a 15-year-old autistic boy named Tyson Hollerman. The film explores his journey to run a marathon, focusing on family dynamics and personal growth.

Plot Summary Leading to the Ending

Tyson Hollerman, played by Major Dodson, is a homeschooled teenager with autism. His mother, Eloise, has been his primary teacher. When she can no longer teach him algebra, Tyson suggests attending his father’s school. His father, Bobby, is a football coach at Pope High School. Bobby has struggled to connect with Tyson due to his own unfulfilled dreams and frustrations. Tyson’s first day at public school is tough. He faces bullying from a student named Bradley but also makes a friend named Shannon.

As Tyson navigates high school, he meets Aklilu, a former marathon runner from Somalia. Inspired by Aklilu, Tyson decides to train for a marathon. He believes that achieving this goal will help him gain his father’s approval and improve their strained relationship. Throughout the film, Tyson’s determination and perseverance shine as he overcomes various obstacles, including bullying and his father’s skepticism.

The Climactic Marathon

The climax centers around the marathon Tyson has been training for. Despite his father’s initial doubts, Tyson’s dedication and hard work pay off as he prepares to compete. The marathon symbolizes Tyson’s journey towards self-acceptance and familial reconciliation. During the marathon, Tyson faces many challenges, including physical exhaustion and harsh weather conditions. At one point, Tyson’s foot gets stuck in a pond, and he cannot move. The search party is called off after a deputy is bitten by a rattlesnake, adding to the tension.

Tyson’s father, Bobby, realizes the gravity of the situation and feels guilty about his previous treatment of Tyson. He stays with his son in the pond, trying to rescue him despite the rising water levels.

Emotional Resolution and Character Development

The film reaches its emotional peak when Bobby, who has been distant and resentful, finally opens up to Tyson. This moment of vulnerability and connection is crucial for both characters. Bobby’s realization that he could lose his son leads to a profound change in his attitude. He acknowledges his past mistakes and begins to understand the importance of supporting Tyson’s dreams, regardless of his own unfulfilled aspirations.

Aklilu, who has been a mentor and friend to Tyson, finds them both after being called by Eloise. Tyson is taken to the hospital, where he is treated for hypothermia. The hospital scene is a turning point for the family, as they come together in support of Tyson. Bobby’s transformation is evident as he becomes more involved and supportive, recognizing Tyson’s achievements and potential.

The Marathon’s Outcome

Despite the harrowing experience in the pond, Tyson recovers quickly and remains determined to complete the marathon. The film culminates in Tyson’s participation in the race, where he demonstrates remarkable courage and perseverance. Although the film does not explicitly state whether Tyson wins the marathon, the focus is on his personal growth and the reconciliation with his father.

The marathon serves as a symbolic victory for Tyson, representing his journey towards self-acceptance and the newfound bond with his father. Bobby’s change in attitude is further highlighted when he reflects on Tyson’s early years, expressing a desire to be a better father. This resolution underscores the film’s message about the importance of family support and understanding, especially for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Themes and Messages

Tyson’s Run addresses several significant themes, including the challenges faced by individuals with autism, the impact of parental expectations, and the power of perseverance. The film portrays the difficulties of finding acceptance within one’s own family and the broader community. Tyson’s journey is a testament to the resilience and determination of individuals with autism, challenging societal perceptions and stereotypes.

The film also explores the elaborateities of parenthood, particularly the differing outlooks of Bobby and Eloise on raising Tyson. Eloise’s unconditional love and support contrast with Bobby’s initial frustration and distance. However, Bobby’s eventual acceptance and support of Tyson highlight the potential for growth and change within families.

Critical Reception and Analysis

Tyson’s Run has received mixed reviews from critics. Some have praised the film for its heartfelt portrayal of a teenager with autism and the emotional journey of the characters. Major Dodson’s performance as Tyson has been particularly noted for its authenticity and depth. However, other critics have pointed out the film’s melodramatic moments and the lack of subtlety in some performances.

The film’s ending, while uplifting, has also been critiqued for its improbability. The resolution of the characters’ arcs, particularly Bobby’s transformation, may come across as overly simplistic to some viewers. Nevertheless, the film’s message of hope and perseverance resonates with audiences, especially those with personal connections to autism.


The ending of Tyson’s Run is a poignant and emotional resolution to the film’s narrative. It encapsulates the themes of perseverance, family support, and the challenges faced by individuals with autism. Tyson’s journey towards self-acceptance and the reconciliation with his father provide a powerful message about the importance of understanding and supporting neurodivergent individuals.

While the film has its flaws, its heartwarming story and the performances of the cast, particularly Major Dodson, make it a compelling watch. Tyson’s Run ultimately leaves viewers with a sense of hope and inspiration, emphasizing the potential for growth and change within families and communities.


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