Real life Forrest Gump running across America to raise awareness for charities
Whether he's running in the city, or in the country, Rob Pope loves the view along the way. Running with nothing more then his tent and sleeping bag, Rob is going coast to coast for the third time in less then a year. We caught up with him along route 5 in Madison County. In the short hour we spent with him, he ran from Chittenango to Fayetteville. He runs about an 8 minute mile.
"It's just sort of fantastic to all the different types of environment form the desert, to the mountains, to the lovely green hills of New York," says Pope.
He's combining his love of running with his fandom of the film and book, Forrest Gump. He hasn't shaved since he started out last September and looks like Tom Hanks' character in the film who runs across the nation. He started in the same place as Forrest did, in Alabama. From there he went to Los Angeles, California. He then ran back to the east coast to Northern Maine. Now, he's running through Syracuse and working his way to Portland, Oregon. To boot, at 38 he's the same age Hanks was in the timeless film.
"One of my favorite stories was when I was on my first crossing when I was in downtown L.A. and a 12-year-old kid shouts, run Forrest run."
Rob says fewer people have run across America then have climbed Everest. He's largely running to raise awareness for two charities. World Wildlife Fund is a conservation charity. Peace Direct aims to resolve conflicts in Africa and Asia.
I think a lot of people wish there were more people like Forrest in the world. You know he didn't judge anyone. He just generally tried to make people happy."
Pope is from Liverpool, England and has won the marathon there twice and last month finished his second Boston Marathon. He feels such a strong connection to his charities that he's paying for his running adventure with money he had saved to buy a house.
Running across America for a good cause, all while bringing a part of Americana, to life.