Real-Life Forrest Gump Is Running Over 3|000 Miles in 100 Days
When you’re bored and you want to feel productive| you might go for a run (and feel pretty good about your choice). Barclay Oudersluys was bored and decided to go for a run across the entire country. Dubbing his adventure Project Gump| the 23-year-old Michigan native is running from California to Maine partly for fun and partly to raise money for the Hall Steps Foundation| a nonprofit that strives to fight poverty around the world through better health. “”What better way is there to promote healthy living than by running?”” Barclay wrote on his Crowdrise fundraising page| where he has already raised over $3|500 of his $10|000 goal.
The real-life Forrest Gump told the Detroit Free Press that the spontaneous idea was sparked by an everyday run. “”I was at the University of Michigan and I was on a run there one day| bored| and I tried to come up with something big to do and decided to run across the country|”” he said. “”I’m out here just having fun.”” He started on May 9 and mapped out his entire route| and if all goes as planned| Barclay will run for 100 days| spanning over 3|000 miles.
| He’s running about 30 miles per day.
Barclay says that his marathon pace is a seven-minute mile| but he’s going to be running a longer distance than a marathon every day for 100 days| so he will pace himself a bit more.
| He’s looking for any running buddies along the way.
As excited as he is| Barclay knows that running by himself for 100 days will get boring at times. “”I’m trying to find people to run with me. If you know anybody from any part of the country who would be interested (running clubs| cross country teams| some guy who ran once| etc.) please let me know or tell them to get in touch with me!”” he wrote on his blog.
| He has a superspecific state-by-state route.
Barclay will run through 11 states total| and that means running through a variety of elements along the way. Here| he said that running at an elevation of 7|000 feet made him “”feel so tired.”” Uh| yeah| I can imagine!
| He hopes to spread a good word about the cause he’s running for.
While Barclay’s idea was initially only about the run itself| now it’s also about using the publicity to help spread the word about the STEPS charity and get donations whenever possible. “”Along the way I will try to talk to people I meet to spread the word of their charity and collect donations to support them. I have a goal of $10|000 by the time I finish on August 16| all of which will go straight to the STEPS Foundation|”” he explained. Barclay says that the money he hopes to raise will be enough to build a well in Mozambique| where access to clean water is limited.
| He’s sticking to a healthy and protein-packed diet . . . when possible.
Barclay says that one of the most common questions he gets is| “”What are you going to eat?”” While he hopes to stick as closely as possible to his regular diet of oatmeal with chia seeds| postrun smoothies| whole-wheat bagels with peanut butter| and plenty of fruit| he admits that there will “”definitely have to be some sacrifices on the road.”” He resorted to Pizza Hut for some “”carb loading”” after running through a desert on day eight of his journey.
| He’s hoping Tom Hanks might hear about his project.
Tom Hanks reaching out would be the ultimate result| but Barclay hopes the Forrest Gump star just gets wind of Project Gump. “”I’m hoping he hears something. That would be cool|”” he said. Here’s Barclay at the beginning of his journey at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at the Santa Monica Pier in California. You can follow this inspiring guy’s cross-country run on his Twitter and Instagram.