A man named Robert Pope is recreating the iconic scene from the 1994 film “Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks in which Gump, the main character, runs across America for fun.
Pope — who is originally from the United Kingdom — has spent the last seven months running across the United States and has already treaded over 5,400 miles, according to Uproxx.
The 38-year-old is calling the run “Going the Distance,” which began back in September in Mobile, Alabama. He couldn't start in Greenbow, because it's not a real place.
Unlike Hanks’ character in the film, Pope is not embarking on the journey simply to have something to do; he’s using the run to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct.
“I started planning to do it for charity, and then I said, ‘How do you do that to make it stand out from the crowd?’” he told the Boston Globe. “Then the cogs started turning.”
To catch people’s attention and spice up the challenging endeavor, Pope decided to actually dress as the fictional character and complete his actual route. He has even transformed over time the same way that Gump did by starting out the journey clean shaven and over time growing a thick, scruffy beard and full head of hair.
Following his participation in the Boston Marathon, Pope plans to head to the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine, — the location where Gump reached the Atlantic ocean before turning back in the opposite direction — which Pope also plans to reenact.
Pope has been documenting his trek on Instagram with photographs from every stop. He even wears a shirt that reads, “Run Robla Run,” a play on the popular catchphrase “Run Forrest Run” from the film.
Also like Gump, Pope invites anyone who is interested to join him along the way.
“Anyone who wants join in and follow is welcome to come do it with me,” he said. “Forrest had people running with him, didn’t he?”
What a brilliant way to draw attention to charitable foundations all while exercising and having a good time.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters