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Real-Life Forrest Gump Is Running All The Way From California To Maine

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.

He said,

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.

He's also raising money for charity: His goal is to raise $10,000 for The Hall Steps Foundation, a nonprofit focused on public health and poverty in developing countries.

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.

He admitted,

I'm hoping he'll see something. That would be cool.

You can keep up with Oudersluy's cross-country race by following his Twitter and donate to his charitable cause here.

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

Citations: Michigan Runner on Forrest Gump from California to Maine (NY Daily News), Real Life Forrest Gump Birmingham Native Is Running (Free Detroit Press)