IT has been a phenomenal fews weeks following our THREE crowdfunding ultra-marathon runners as they prepare to take on runs later this year that will total more than 26,000 miles – and then this happened.
It blew our socks off really: JimGump, out to bring Forrest Gump’s US-wide run to life, jogging side-by-side with Barefoot Aleks, the man who has already run LEGOG and is now aiming for Norway to Sicily on the E1 Trail.
These guys have admired each other from afar since they met through their PledgeSports.org crowdfunding campaigns, and both fell into ease with each other immediately when meeting for the first time – probably because they were both running at the time!
“I’ve followed Jim’s preparation for a while and absolutely adore the adventure he has planned,” Aleks told us, “and his single-minded determination to make use of it in a positive way.
“His dedication has been incredible and to manage to catch up with him was great. It was so refreshing to meet someone who is more focused on inspiring others to be more active, through running, than on his next PB or what race position he comes in.
“Really there’s no real way to express how impressive his determination, achievements and his goals are. A true inspiration and awesome to have met, run and chatted with him.”
Jim was just as taken by Aleks. They had got in touch when Aleks noticed his PledgeSports.org crowdfunding campaign for his JimGump projected – to bring to life Forrestt Gump’s fictional 20,000 run across America.
Aleks messaged Jim to tell him he thought he was cool. Jim liked that. He also likes Aleks.
“I think it’s quite likely that we’re both a little bonkers, but not for doing our challenges,” he says. “We both really enjoy these, as far as I can tell. We like running. Our challenges are running challenges. That’s not so mad at all as far as I can tell. I think that if we are a little bonkers, it’s because that is our general disposition.”
He adds: “Aleks asked me if I was ‘going to do the beard’. When you say to people that you are going to do Forrest Gump’s run for real, the first thing people generally want to know is whether or not you are going to grow the iconic beard.
“I probably won’t (sorry to disappoint folks). I’m actually not trying to be Forrest Gump, I’m trying to use the run to help me to achieve what it is that I really want to achieve, which is to get people moving.
“Aleks gets all of this. He understands that it isn’t really about the running. Understands that the running is incidental to what it is that we really seek to do. And besides…Aleks has got a pretty good beard going on already!”
He’s got a pretty good voice going on to, as you can hear in #OperaticLandscapes, and his new comrade, Jim, has a pretty big heart: “I believe in this more than anything I have ever done in my life.”