Meet The Real-Life Forrest Gump: Barclay Oudersluys Is Running 3,200 Miles, From California To Maine

It’s not every day that you find someone motivated enough to actually get up and pursue the adventure of their dreams. Hell, I can barely get myself to brush my teeth in the morning when I wake up, and that’s just personal hygiene at its most basic state. Most people drift through life, wandering from place to place and job to job until it’s time to retire and spend the remainder of their lives getting fat off of pension checks and social security.

Barclay Oudersluys (goddamn what a name) is not one of those people.

Rather than sit around and wait for life to happen to him, Barclays chose to grab life by the face, scream at it, then start running. As for where he’s running, he’s currently a little over 400 miles into his run from California’s Santa Monica Yacht Harbor to Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine – yep, just like Forrest Gump. And while you may be thinking that the guy is in it for the money and fame (because really, the story is genuinely interesting), you couldn’t be further from the truth.

“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,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I’m out here just having fun.”(via)

While running isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, I can’t knock Barclays. I can’t even run a mile without wanting to puke, so the idea of running 3,200 of ‘em makes me so nauseous I might have to stop writing this and make a quick trip to the bathroom.

// goal is to finish the run in 100 days and make it to Main in mid-August, meaning he needs to run at least 32 miles a day after having started on May 9th. As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, this means he’s got a meticulous schedule that he’s gotta stick to in order to keep on track:

His routine is to wake up at dawn, enjoy a light breakfast and run about 20 miles. He’ll then take a mid-afternoon siesta, and run another 10 miles or so before calling it a day. “We might do a crossword puzzle in the evening, but usually I’m asleep at eight so there’s not a lot of nightlife,” he said.(via)

You can check up on Barclay’s journey via his Twitter account @ProjectGump.


While he’s hoping the publicity from the run will help raise money for the Hall STEPS Foundation (which you can find more information on HERE) rather than for the fame, he does indeed hope that Tom Hanks will hear about his journey and reach out to him.

If life really is a box of chocolates, Oudersluys is enjoying every bite. And yes, he would love it if Tom Hanks hears about his journey and reaches out to him.

“I’m hoping he’ll see something,” said Oudersluys. That would be cool.”(via)


[H/T Detroit Free Press]