'Real life Forrest Gump' runner heading to Sheffield to complete all six of city's Parkruns

The ‘real life Forrest Gump’ is coming to Sheffield to take on six of the city’s parkruns as part of a cross country race from Blackpool to Bridlington.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 3:22 pm
Graves Park will be the third of Robert's planned six Sheffield parkruns.

Robert Pope, a 43 year old ultra runner who once replicated Forrest Gump’s 15,000 mile run – crossing America four times – is attempting a new challenge, and he needs Sheffielders ’ help.

Robert’s epic journey, taking place this week will involve completing 41 parkruns (a combined distance of 127 miles) between Blackpool and Bridlington.

On the Sheffield leg, Robert will start at Endcliffe Park at 8am on Sunday October 10 having completed parkruns in Greater Manchester through the night.

Robert said that he was just hoping he would make it to Sheffield because of the support he has there.

His next stops will be Millhouses, Graves, Sheffield Castle, and Hillsborough, with an aim to start Concord in Shiregreen, the final parkrun in Sheffield, at 1pm.

Robert said: “I wanted to do something true to the theme of Forrest as possible. I love Parkrun, it is one of the best things for getting people up and running.

“The Sheffield organisers have been so brilliant. I love Sheffield, I have got some friendly faces to say hello. If I get one smiling face at each parkrun I’ll be happy.

“I am not going to stop because I'm tired, I’m only going to stop if I am physically broken. With the first run (15,000 mile run across America) I was pretty broken, but I managed to get to the finish line.”

Sheffield Hallam Parkrun, which has now morphed into Endcliffe Parkrun, is one of the most popular in the city.

Ben Heller, a run director at Sheffield Hallam Parkrun, said: “It’s great what he’s doing, it’s very very impressive. By the time he has got to us he will have been running for a hell of a long time.

"It’s a challenge physically but also a challenge logistically. He’s got to do each run and get to the next pretty quick. There’s not much time for error. If he makes it it will be a great achievement.”

Sheffielders are invited to cheer Robert and the city’s running scene has come together to help out with logistics.

In a Facebook post, Robert said: “When I'm hungry, I'll eat. When I'm tired, I'll sleep and when I need to go...I'll go. One parkrun, every hour until I say the lines: ‘I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go home now’.”

Robert Pope followed Forrest Gump's journey crossing America four times and travelling 15,000 miles in 2018.