Dave Chamberlain begins 19,000 mile Forrest Gump Run with trip to Waffle House
Dave Chamberlain is running across the world. Two weeks ago he began the latest leg of his journey, a 19,000 mile "Forrest Gump Run." The forty year-old South African, whose accent has the staff stumped at the Waffle House in Yemassee, South Carolina - has already logged 40,000 miles during the last six years of an anticipated nine year "running project." So what's another three years pushing a running stroller down country roads while fending off feral dogs with bear spray?
"I’m just exploring a country, but on foot. The running is the means to get me where I need to get to. It’s not a running project. Because I’m pushing a stroller around it’s a really intimate way to explore the country. It’s not ultra running, it’s just traveling."
Since the summer, Dave has been running south along the United States eastern seaboard and two weeks ago, our paths purposely crossed at Forest Gump's South Carolina low country driveway so we could make some photos for day one of his new journey. Now, every time some bozo leans out his Ford window and shouts shouts "RUN! FORREST! RUN!, Dave will have the perplexing satisfaction of knowing something they don't. And since he'll cross the nation four times on this three year trek, he'll have plenty of opportunities to hear a few Americans offering their encouragement.
After making photos at the plantation driveway and finding that Dave had never been to a Waffle House, I described the establishment as an essential experience in the American South. On the way, he explains a newfound love for the region, describing his journey also as a culinary tour. "With this running, my body does crave protein. And brisket… my gosh, just the nicest meat I’ve ever had. The meat in the south, midway through North Carolina has been absolutely divine." He is looking forward to what he'll find in Louisiana and Texas.
His Waffle House experience: a sausage breakfast bowl and a pecan waffle. Then it's off towards Varnville, SC and a few trips across the continent. Dave plans to be done by the 25th anniversary of the release of the film. To follow along on the journey, you can connect on Instagram at @run_our_world.
Photos by Sean Rayford for The Hug Run
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