A marathon runner from Liverpool, England, was barely out of breath when he arrived at the Santa Monica Pier Wednesday evening after running 2,200 miles to reach the landmark in an homage to 'Forrest Gump' that sought to raise $1 million for charity.
Rob Pope has run 18 marathons before — even placing first in some — but his latest journey recreating the route from the seminal Tom Hanks film was the equivalent of 85 marathons. The 38-year-old runner reached Santa Monica just two months after setting out from Mobile, Alabama, at the end of September.
To complete the feat, Pope ran 32 miles a day, keeping the adventure fun by singing along to songs that fit the theme of his leg, such as “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi at his halfway point in Texas, a state that took him a month to run across.
Pope was extremely faithful to his inspiration, recreating not only the route but some of Gump's outfits as well, but unlike the film version Pope's run had a purpose.
"My mom, just like Forrest’s mom, isn’t around unfortunately anymore. She just said, ‘Make sure you do one thing in your life that makes a difference,' " Pope told KTLA just after finishing his journey.
The lengthy excursion wasn’t easy, of course. Pope said he incurred tendon injuries that could have ended it, but kept going.
"I'm quite stubborn," he smiled. "I had good support, and I basically just kept putting one foot in front of the other."
And unlike Gump, Pope isn't quite ready to pack up and head home.
"I think I can get across to another ocean, and then maybe if I get to another ocean I might turn around again," he said.