‘Forrest Gump’ inspires Liverpool man to run across U.S.

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CNN WIRE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A man from Liverpool, England, wanted to see all of the United States. He decided the best way to do that would be to run across the country.

Rob Pope said the movie Forrest Gump inspired him to just get out and run.

“I just like running,” Pope laughed.

For seven months now, Pope has been running America’s byways with a bicycle full of necessities.

Friday morning he was on Highway 70 near McEwen, heading east.

“I’ve always wanted to run across America. I’m a music fan. Just coming to Nashville and see Johnny Cash,” Pope said.

Pope’s long and winding road will crisscross the country four times, a total of 16,000 miles.

Like Tom Hanks’ fictional character, Pope started in Alabama and is already on his way back from California and on the way to Boston.

“So I see the bayous in Alabama and Mississippi, and the complete change in Texas. From Beaumont to El Paso, Death Valley, the lowest place in North America, and it snowed,” Pope said.

The back roads don’t leave much room for runners, so he dips and dodges the traffic.

Pope knows he shouldn’t take his eyes of the road, but sometimes he can’t help it.

“I’m loving how green Tennessee is at the moment,” he said.

Pope said what he’ll remember most is the people.

“I was in a restaurant in New Johnsonville last night and it turned out they covered my tab and paid for my hotel,” he said. “A lot better than staying in a tent.”

Pope expects to make it to Nashville sometime Saturday as he makes his way to Boston. He plans to camp outside, but said if someone has a better idea, they can contact him by clicking here.

Pope is also raising money for nature and wildlife charities.