British man completes Forrest Gump-inspired run in Monument Valley
MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah – Some may call him crazy, others may call him tough, but Rob Pope may prefer the name, Forrest, Forrest Gump.
The British man accomplished quite the feat Sunday, ending a 15-thousand mile run that crossed the United States four times.
On any given day, the long stretch of highway leading to Monument Valley is packed with tourists, each one hoping for that iconic pic. Monument Valley is the place where fictional character, Forrest Gump said the famous line, “I think I’ll go home now.”
For Pope, Gump is very real.
“Forrest was such an incredible human being,” he said. “He didn’t judge anyone by their race, background, intelligence, or wealth. He just got the job done.”
The movie inspired him grow out his beard, lace up his shoes and take the first steps.
“I just felt like running,” Pope said with a laugh and a forced southern accent.
Pope didn’t just do it for the cardio, along the way he raised money for charity.
“This is bigger than me,” Pope said. “As long as I could put one foot in front of the other, I said I would do that and see if tomorrow would be a better day.”
Sunday may have been his best day yet. Pope finally uttered the words he’s been longing to say.
“I think I’ll go home now,” he said with a smile to the small crowd that gathered.
Before he boarded his plane back to Britain, Pope had one last milestone to reach in the 15 thousand mile path.
“I’ve got a horrible feeling this ring is going to be too small,” he said as he fumbled with an engagement ring.
Pope’s girlfriend was waiting at the finish of his race, and he used the special day to propose. The ring was a perfect fit for the love of his life. No, her name may not be Jenny, but she did say “yes.”
“What a journey,” Pope said with a smile as he embraced his now fiancé.
It was a pretty eventful run. Pope said it snowed when he ran through Death Valley and his beard almost froze in Wyoming. The two charities Pope is supporting are the World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct. To learn more, visit his website, goingthedistancerun.com.
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