(NEWS CENTER) — Ever since the movie "Forrest Gump" came out in 1994, people have debated whether his epic run of 3 years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours is even possible.
Gump ran from Alabama to Santa Monica, and then to Marshall Point lighthouse in Port Clyde, eventually arriving in Utah, where he declared himself done. Rob Pope, who's originally from England, is trying to recreate that run. And this past week, he cleared a major milestone on his journey. He made it from Santa Monica to Marshall Point Lighthouse.
Pope said it was an emotional moment. "I sort of struggled to keep it together, to be honest. I was listening to one of my favorite bands, called "Interpol," and they have a song that says the lighthouse is very deep and meaningful. And as I turned the corner and saw the lighthouse there, it was an emotional thing for me."
Just like Gump, Pope had no other reason for his run than he just wanted to run across the US. He started in Alabama in September. Now, he's hoping to make it to Chicago by mid-summer, then continue to California. He wants to sit on the famous bench from the movie in Georgia, and finally run to Utah, where Gump completed his journey.
He says he's been pretty healthy overall, though he did tear a quad at one point, and needed to take a couple of days off. He's also been eating a lot and says he particularly enjoyed the food at Fat Boy's in Brunswick and Red's in Wiscasset.
"I eat so much a day, about 6,000 calories," Pope said. "The bigget meal I had was at Red's because Debbie, one of the owners, kept saying 'Do you want more scallops?' And I was like, "Yeah, go on!' And she's like, 'Do you want onion rings?' And I was like, 'Yeah!'"
Pope says he's been doing up to 50 miles a day at times, but he's planning to slow it down to 35 miles a day. He wants more time to talk to people about the run and the causes he's running for. He's a veterinarian, so he's running in support of the World Wildlife Fund. He's also trying to support an organization called Peace Direct, which tries to find solutions to problems in countries plagued by violence. Pope said he wants to run for organizations that represent the 5 things Forrest Gump was asked if he were running for: the environment, animals, world peace, the homeless and women's rights.