One College Grad Decided To Run Across The Country, Forrest Gump Style

How much do you love your favorite movie? For University of Michigan graduate Barclay Oudersluys, re-watching the DVD and eating at Bubba Gump’s wasn’t enough – he actually wanted to bring a piece of “Forrest Gump” to life. He also did some real good along the way.

Barclay’s 100-day run began in Santa Monica, California and stretched 3,200 miles before finally ending in Port Clyde, Maine. He tried to follow Forrest’s route as much as possible. 

Barclay began “Project Gump” at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. While he often carried a water bottle, all other necessities hauled in a van by his friend. 

Along the way, Barclay got quite a bit of encouragement. 

But he also faced hardships, like this torrential downpour. 


The 23-year-old told Ann Arbor News: “It was tough. I don’t think I was quite ready for how long and monotonous it was, which is just something you really can’t imagine until you do it.” 

However, like Gump, the run brought him quite a bit of national attention. When the makers of Pop-Tarts found that Barclay’s 6,000 calorie-per-day diet relied heavily on the breakfast item, they sent him a few of his favorite flavors – with his face on the box! 

As for dinner, pizza was a frequent choice. 

Barclay typically ran 20 miles early in the day, rested for a bit, and then ran an additional 10-15 miles. 

From time to time, others runners would join him, just as they did Gump. 


But most of the time, Barclay was alone. 

As “Project Gump” gained media attention, he was often invited to stay the night with various good samaritans. 

It’s no surprise that he went through six pairs of shoes. 

Or that curious kids liked to run alongside him! 

By the end of his journey, Barclay had not only lived a portion of his favorite movie, but raised $11,000 for STEPS, a non-profit charity organization that works to improve the health of impoverished people. It goes without saying that Barclay is pretty tired – we guess he’ll go home for now. 

VIa: mLive

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