Run, Rob, run: Real-life Forrest Gump passes through Oregon

Rob Pope is the real-life Forest Gump (KOIN).
Rob Pope is the real-life Forest Gump (KOIN).

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s always something, Rob Pope says. He’s always tired and the pain never leaves. But that’s what happens when you’ve ran the equivalent of 362 marathons in a year’s time.

And Pope isn’t finished.

Rob Pope is the real-life Forest Gump (KOIN).
Rob Pope is the real-life Forrest Gump (KOIN).

After starting last September in Mobile, Alabama, Pope — a British-born emergency veterinarian — is on track to become the first person to run across the country 3 times in one year. Now, he’s in Oregon, running through the state that gave the world Steve Prefontaine and Nike.

“It’s quite cool,” Pope said. “Where it all began.”

A journey of this magnitude begs the question: why would anyone ever start such a thing? To answer, Pope channels the character he’s embodied over this past year.

“I just felt like running,” he said.

Pope has become the real-life version of Forrest Gump, and with his long beard and Bubba Gump Shrimp hat, he’s become a replica of the famous Tom Hanks persona. He’s also running for a good cause, raising money for The World Wildlife Foundation and Peace Direct.

Like Gump, Pope has made an impact across the country, garnering national headlines. But he hasn’t done this totally alone.

“Come join me,” he says, like the real Forrest Gump.

You just have to decide how much of his distance you’ll go.