He ran to the end of town, the end of the county, the end of the state, and to the end of the coast. Then he ran back a few times. But how far did Forrest Gump run? And for how long? Centives decided to find out.
We know that he began in his fictional hometown of Greenbow Alabama on October 1, 1979. The date is given away when a newscaster announces that President Carter had collapsed that day due to heat exhaustion as Forrest runs through town.
His first stop is Santa Monica Yacht Harbor, seen as he jogs through the marked archway
From Santa Monica, he turns around and heads to a light house perched along the East Coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
From there we are given very little information about his specific locations other than shots of scenery. At one point, just as his jogging craze is about to catch on, he is approached by a throng of news reporters there to mark his 4th time crossing the Mississippi. The run at this point is said to have lasted over 2 years.
Based on this information from the movie, the list of filming locations, and an analysis of the script, Centives was able to generate the 11 point route that Forrest follows in his journey across the United States:
Point A, the place from where he begins is an arbitrary point in the middle of Alabama since the Greenbow of the film is fictional. Centives also had to generate coastal points F and J – there are no shots of these locations in the film but they are vaguely referred to. The points themselves are the shortest distance to the coast from Forrest’s last known location. The rest are accurate representations of what was depicted in the film. You can play around with the map over here.
We’re told that Forrest ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, and in that time he ran 15,248 miles, crossing the United States five times, before deciding that it was time to go home.
Overall Forrest ran 0.54 miles per hour and averaged 91 miles per week. Elite college level cross-country runners can pull that off. The attention to detail paid by the filmmakers is commendable as Forrest’s feat is by no means impossible.
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