For Barclay Oudersluys, “Forrest Gump” is more than a beloved character or the title of his favorite film: It's his inspiration.
Oudersluys, who hails from Michigan, recently set off on an ambitious cross-country run, following in the footsteps of his fictional hero.
Oudersluys told the Detroit Free Press the idea to attempt the 3,200-mile journey came to him on a whim.
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. I'm out here just having fun.
Since beginning his trip on May 9, Oudersluys already raised nearly $3,500. By the time he finishes his 100-day journey on August 16, he will have probably raised more than his $10,000 goal.
Oudersluys hopes his determination will catch the attention of Tom Hanks, the actor who played Gump in the 1994 film.
I'm hoping he'll see something. That would be cool.
Oudersluys told New York Daily News, "[Forrest Gump] had a really interesting life, and I'm trying to copy that."
Over a week later I made it to Nevada pic.twitter.com/xIC6PjAoXc — Project Gump (@ProjectGump) May 16, 2015
He runs at least 30 miles each day.
Into Arizona pic.twitter.com/ab4DZlkyI1 — Project Gump (@ProjectGump) May 17, 2015
And each night, he sleeps in a van.
"@Evrybodysythgrp: @ProjectGump we are ready to support your journey at First Presbyterian of Birmingham! pic.twitter.com/pMGth6YmDV" Beautiful! — Project Gump (@ProjectGump) May 20, 2015
Keep track of his travels on Twitter.
Ready to leave from the Santa Monica Pier bright and early tomorrow morning! pic.twitter.com/pUwVo5BupF — Project Gump (@ProjectGump) May 9, 2015