If you were among the thousands of people watching runners brave the heat during Sunday’s London Marathon, you can be forgiven for not having been inspired to give it a go yourself.
A marathon in normal British conditions is one thing, but record temperatures might be enough to put off those in the ‘maybe’ camp.
However, on the other end of the scale, you might have seen friends or family members produce impressive times, or you might have read about some of the inspirational stories from recent years.
Alternatively, you might have looked at Rob Pope, who ran the race dressed as Forrest Gump and recorded a faster time than most of us could ever dream of posting.
If you’ve seen Best Picture Oscar winner Forrest Gump, you’ll remember the title character running more than 15,000 miles because he “just felt like running”.
Well, Pope – who hails from Liverpool – set out to recreate that route, which crosses the United States multiple times, and has continued running after returning to the UK.
“You didn’t see Forrest doing a Rocky montage in the scenes building up to his run - he just put on his shoes and went. I figured I’d do the same,” he’s quoted as saying by LadBible.
And he was rewarded for his efforts this weekend with a London Marathon time of two hours, 36 minutes and 28 seconds – an official world record for anyone running the course dressed as a film character.
Put into context, Pope’s time was just 30 minutes slower than Mo Farah, who set a new British record at the event, and actually faster than one of the elite athletes.
He was 82nd overall, and kept a steady pace throughout with less than two minutes separating the first and second halves of his run.
Pope has been raising money for a variety of charities, including the World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct, as part of his efforts. More details can be found at his ‘Going the Distance’ website.
“When Forrest runs across the Mississippi for the fourth time, they say, why are you doing this?” he told LetsRun.
“Are you running for women’s rights, world peace, the homeless, the environment, or animals? I’m running for all five of those things.”