Run! Pope! Run!

Rob Pope is currently running across America for the fifth time.

(Photo provided)

By JESSIE BRYDGES
Staff Writer

Rob Pope is finishing up his fifth run across America and Wednesday his route took him through Henryetta. He stopped by the Henryetta Free-Lance to introduce himself and ask about the town.

According to his personal website, Pope describes himself at an emergency veterinarian by night and runner by day. 

He became the Australian Marathon Champion at the Australian Marathon Championships in 2015 and won the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 2015 and 2016.

However in 2016 he decided he wanted to do something more.

“My mother, who has since passed away, always encouraged me to do amazing things,” Pope said. 

Pope applied for and received a VISA to travel to America.

It was here that he set out to recreate the cross country run from the movie Forrest Gump. 

He runs not only to see America but also is running for charity. 

He is currently running to raise money for both the World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct. 

The World Wildlife Fund is the world's leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries and with close to 5 million members globally. 

The WWF works to conserve the forests, oceans, fresh water, wildlife, food and climate of the world. 

Peace Direct believe that local people have the power to find their own solutions to conflict – and to build their own better futures. 

Pope has been running continuously since September 15, 2016 except for when he has to go back to England to reup his VISA.

“I only have six month VISA's so I have to go back for a few weeks each time to reapply,” Pope said.

He also has to reexplain to the VISA office what his plans are each time he applies which has caused some amusement. 

During the warmer months Pope camps out along his routes but with the weather so cold recently he has been reliant on hotels and good Samaritans to offer him housing.  

While in Henryetta he stayed at the Green County Inn. 

“All the places I've stayed during this leg have been just lovely and this Inn is no exception,” Pope said. 

Along with following the route set up by the movie, Pope is also trying to see as many landmarks as he can along the way. 

“I've been to 43 out of the 47 states so I've seen most of the landmarks I'm interested in,” Pope said. 

He's already crossed the nation four times, running from Mobile, Alabama over to Los Angeles, California. 

From California he ran across 18 states to the Marshal Point Lighthouse in Maine. 

Then he traveled from Maine to California and from California to South Carolina.

The fifth run started in Beaufort, South Carolina and will end in Monument Valley, Utah.

“I want to do it exactly like it's done in the movie,” Pope said. “I'm going to get to Monument Valley say I'm tired, and that I want to go home and then I'm going  to go home.”

He wont be going home to relax however. His girlfriend back in England is expecting their first child which will surely keep him busy. 

To follow Pope as he finishes up his final run, check out his Facebook at Run Robla Run and his website at goingthedistancerun.com. 

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