A man who ran more than 15,000 miles in Forrest Gump’s shoes has completed yet another run across America, and topped it off with a proposal as he finished.
Rob Pope, 39, said he had a dream of running across America for 15 years. His mom has always told him “do one thing in life that makes a difference,” and it wasn’t until he caught “Forrest Gump” on TV that he got the idea to follow the route from the Oscar-winning 1994 film.
Beginning in Mobile, Ala., on Sept. 16, 2016, Pope, who was the same age as Tom Hanks when he portrayed the revered character, set out on the epic journey that would see him travel the equivalent distance of more than 590 marathons.
Averaging an astounding 40 miles a day, Pope took on ever-changing climates of blistering heat, treacherous rain, and relentless snowfall, raising nearly 37,000 GBP ($50,000) for his two chosen charities, the World Wildlife Foundation and Peace Direct.
Pope ran for a staggering 422 days, covering 15,607 miles in the process, before crossing the finish line on April 29, where he proposed to his very own Jenny — long term girlfriend, Nadine — in an emotional exchange.
“It meant everything to me to have Nadine and our newborn daughter, Bee, there at the finish line,” Pope said. “Nadine has been my rock. I couldn’t have done it without her — proposing in that moment felt right.”
In an emotional moment, Pope runs right up to Nadine and gets down on one knee as she begins crying.
“Seeing my daughter be born was even more motivation — having her and Nadine at the finish was a dream come true,” Pope said. “I’m unbelievably proud and still surprised to a degree that I actually made it.”