Barclay Oudersluys: ‘Forrest Gump’ Fan Looking To Run 3,200-Mile Route For Charity

Forrest Gump fan Barclay Oudersluys is looking to run the 3,200-mile route that the Tom Hanks character ran in the Robert Zemeckis-directed film. According to the Detroit Free Press, Oudersluys started the run at the Santa Monica Yacht Harbor and Pier in California, and his goal is to reach the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine.

But Barclay Oudersluys is not doing the trek on his own. Tagging alongside him is friend Carly Lasagna, who drives around in the van in which they sleep and brings food and drinks for Oudersluys at their rest stops. Since May 9, when the journey began, Oudersluys has been averaging about 30 miles per day, and said he and Lasagna make sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

“We might do a crossword puzzle in the evening, but usually I’m asleep at eight so there’s not a lot of nightlife.”

When asked what made him want to take up the run, Barclay Oudersluys said he wanted to have something to do.

“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.”

Oudersluys is not only running because he wants to; he’s also hoping to raise money for the Hall STEPS Foundation. According to the description on the Project Gump website, the non-profit was founded Ryan and Sara Hall, both of whom are distance runners, with the goal of fighting global poverty by “improving health.” Since the first day of the project, Oudersluys has raised $1,835, and is hoping to complete his goal of $10,000 by August 16.

Barclay Oudersluys is getting the word out about his goal by talking to the people he meets along the way. Oudersluys is also giving updates on his journey via Twitter. A few of his most recent updates state that Oudersluys is in Arizona.

Even though the Forrest Gump character is fictional, Barclay Oudersluys said he led “a really interesting life.”

“I’m trying to copy that.”

At the time of this publication, Tom Hanks has yet to respond to the project, but Oudersluys is interested in hearing what the Oscar-winning actor has to say about it.

“I’m hoping he’ll see something. That would be cool.”

[Images via the Detroit Free Press and New York Post]