A Scouse lad has become the first person ever to run across America three times in a year and he is still going.
39-year-old Rob Pope just felt like running when he set out to follow in the footsteps of Forrest Gump and run 15,248 miles, from ocean to ocean across the U.S to raise money for charity.
Rob, from Livepool, is a vet by trade, and decided to fulfill his dream of running across America for charity, taking on his late mum’s advice to do one thing in his life that made a difference.
Despite being a seasoned marathon-runner, this overwhelming challenge is about 100 marathons, and Rob wakes up everyday facing a 40-mile run.
Speaking to UNILAD, Rob said:
The Forrest idea came about in the process of planning as I’d wanted to do as well as possible for my two charities, the World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct.
In the film, when Forrest runs over the Mississippi for the fourth time, he gets chased by reporters who ask him why he is running. He’s asked if he’s running for world peace, the homeless, women’s rights, the environment or animals. My two charities encompass all of these things and they blow me away and provide a great source of motivation every time I read about their work. I just want to help how I can.
My mum, who unfortunately died a few years ago told me to do one thing in my life that made a difference and well, this is it!
No-one has ever done this run before, in fact, three days ago I became the first person EVER to run across America three times in a year and I’m still going. Forrest was a great character and didn’t judge anyone, always had time for people and I try and act that way myself, so it all fit.
Staying true to the Forrest character, Rob began his long run on September 15 last year, just like Gump, and plans to run for another five or six months in order to finish in Monument Valley in the Utah desert.
Currently the only thing in Rob’s way of completing the journey is a lack of sponsor, so he is currently searching for a company or people to sponsor him to the end.
Something Rob was keen to tell me was how he has found the ‘American people to be great and the messages of support on Facebook mean a lot’. Having just hit 10,000 miles, he is striving for 10,000 likes. I think a like per mile is fair.
— Robert Pope (@runroblarun) September 17, 2017
Rob said that the hardest part of this challenge is ‘getting up every morning knowing there are 40 miles ahead, often in touch weather and knowing there is still a huge distance left to go’.
Since the beginning, which is just over a year ago now, Rob hasn’t shaved or had a hair cut so he’s looking very much like Forrest.
I wonder if that affects his air resistance.
It's another one of those days! ? 8,000 miles. 225 days of running. 35.55 miles a day on average. If I keep that up, surely I'll come to an ocean eventually? #8000 #miles #7togo www.goingthedistancerun.com #running #run #runner #runnersofinstagram #runnersworld #runchat #runultra #ultra #ultrarunner #ultrarunning #transUSA #transAmerica #instarunners #fitness #getoutdoors #road #WWF #peacedirect #goingthedistance #makethedifference #keepgoing
It turns out that he became the first person ever to run from Joshua Tree NP to U2’s Joshua Tree in Death Valley.
Accompanying him along the way, it’s Coldplay, U2, Maximo Park, Nick Cave, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and the thought of ‘the end, and when lunch is’.
Rob also has a rule that if ACDC comes on, he has to run quickly.
With the Boston Marathon in less than three hours under his belt despite enjoying a pint on the way, along with becoming Oregon state’s 10k champion the day after doing a marathon, we have all the faith that Rob will complete Forrest’s journey.
The full details of Rob and his incredible journey can be found on his website. and you can donate to his worthy charities on his fundraising page here.
Run Robla Run!
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