Robert Pope is not Forrest Gump. He’s not from Greenbow, Alabama (mostly because it doesn’t actually exist), he didn’t play college football for Alabama, he didn’t (unintentionally) start the Watergate scandal, and he definitely didn’t invent the smiley face. But, he like the fictional character from the 1994 film (and book) of the same name, is a “running fool.”
For months, the man’s been reenacting the famous scene where Gump runs across America because he, “just felt like running.”
Pope “must have drank about fifteen Dr. Peppers” while he was thinking this up because the 38 year-old from Liverpool, England-born has spent the last seven months running across the United States from coast to coast. Himself, a fan of the Academy Award-winning film, Pope has already traversed over 5,400 miles.
He’s calling the run, “Going The Distance” and it began back on September 15th in Mobile, Alabama. Within the first 72 days, Pope had already jogged to California before turning around at the Santa Monica Pier (just like in the movie). After that, he made stops in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. while running up to 50 miles every day.
When he began his journey, he was clean-shaven and had just gotten a close-crop haircut resembling Tom Hanks’ character’s iconic look. All you need to do is take a look at his Instagram and you’ll see the transformation (just like Gump himself) Pope has made in the seven month’s since his journey began. After those many months of jogging, he now has long, curly hair and an epic beard even Lieutenant Dan would admire.