Real life ‘Forrest Gump’ runner stops in Katy to inspire area kids to start running, too

KATY, Texas — Who could forget Forrest Gump's famous run across America?

Well, now there's a British guy who's trying to run in Forrest's footsteps! Jim Plunkett Cole — a.k.a Jim Gump — has set out to run 20,000 miles across the U.S. over the course of three years.

"Altogether, I'm doing a 30,000-mile run, which is probably the longest run ever in human history," Cole said. "I came through Louisiana, and the mosquitoes in Louisiana— they can carry you off!"

Jim ran all the way from Mobile, Alabama to the brand new Katy campus of The British International School of Houston to bring 'Gump' to life for the kids.

"We shared that with the children, and so they're excited about being involved with something so gargantuan as a 20,000 mile run," said Kate Fuller, the school's head of primary.

So far, Cole has come across a zoo of interesting animals.

"I've come across alligators, I've come across wild pigs," he said. "We don't have wild pigs in England, but here, suddenly, I was running along a really quiet road and there was a whole group of wild pigs oinking at me!"

Cole isn't doing his run for the fortune, the fame or to make new furry friends.

"He's not doing this for money," Fuller said. "He's not doing this for press coverage. He's doing it to raise the awareness of childhood obesity."

To support him in his goal, Cole asks children he meets just to do one thing: a little bit of physical activity each day.

"Do a little bit of something physical everyday," Cole said. "It doesn't have to be running, swimming, cycling, scootering (or) whatever it is that people like."

So what's been the hardest part of running so far?

"Of all of it, the worse thing is the traffic. The traffic is a nightmare!"

Well, we already know that!

"He is inspiring the children to get out, to get up, and to get moving — which we absolutely advocate!" Fuller said.