'Forrest Gump' completes 42 back-to-back marathons

He ran in memory of nine-year-old Thomas Laurie who died last year

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The Independent Online

A man has completed 42 back-to-back marathons – while dressed as Forrest Gump.

Ewan Gordon, 42, from Oxfordshire, copied the popular film character by growing out his hair and beard to complete the 1,050-mile challenge in memory of nine-year-old Thomas Laurie who died last year.

Thomas suffered from Cockayne Syndrome – a rare premature ageing disease – which is known to affect just 100 youngsters in the UK.

Mr Gordon, a civil servant, ran about 26 miles each day (42km) – the equivalent of a marathon a day – for 42 days, from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

He said he was inspired to adopt the quirky persona following a bet when a friend said he would sponsor Mr Gordon more money for his charity run if he did.

In the 1994 Oscar-winning film, the title character – played by Tom Hanks – ran across America, attracting a group of followers along the way.

On arriving at Land’s End, western Cornwall, yesterday, Mr Gordon said he was “delighted” to have finished and added: “I haven't got a single blister – your body just gets used to running that far every day.

hanks.jpg
Tom Hanks starred in the 1994 film which won six Oscars, including Best Actor for Hanks

 

“People just think it’s really funny and a lot of people just shout: ‘Run, Forrest, run!’,” he said.

Thomas’ mum, Catherine Laurie, described how Mr Gordon had been a ‘great support’ while Thomas was ill and said: “Although him doing the run as Forrest Gump is great, it has got serious side too.

“He is supporting the charities that supported us and we are so happy that he is carrying on Thomas’ legacy in a positive way.

“We are so very proud of Ewan and totally humbled by his fundraising in memory of Thomas.”

Mr Gordon has, so far, raised almost £9,000 and the money will go towards Helen and Douglas House, Lifelights, Respite Nursing for Oxfordshire's Sick Youngsters and Amy and Friends, which supports children with the condition Thomas had.

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