Outdoors

Real-life ‘Forrest Gump’ running from California to Maine

Posted July 17, 2015, at 4:13 p.m.

In the Academy Award-winning 1994 movie “Forrest Gump,” starring Tom Hanks, the simple — but lovable — titular character at one point runs across the entire country. Gump inspires legions of followers along the way, even though he’s really not running for any particular cause. He just started running one day because he felt like it, and kept going until he felt like stopping.

Now 23-year-old Barclay Oudersluys of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is trying to follow in Gump’s footsteps, running from the Santa Monica Pier in California to the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde in what he hopes will be fewer than 100 days. But Oudersluys does have a cause — he’s seeking to raise $10,000 for The Hall Steps Foundation, a nonprofit battling global poverty.

“I decided if Forrest Gump could run across the country, I could do it too,” he told Reuters.

Oudersluys takes to the road each morning around 6 a.m. and runs more than 30 miles each day, Reuters reported. The 3,150-mile trip will cross 14 states and, if all goes as planned, end in Maine on Aug. 16.

By comparison, Gump’s fictional run took three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours.

“I’ve been through thunderstorms, snow a couple times, really windy days out in Kansas, heat waves; it’s a real mix,” Oudersluys told ABC News.

Unlike the slow-witted character from the movie, Oudersluys has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering and will reportedly start law school at the University of California-Berkeley soon after finishing his coast-to-coast run.

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