'Jim Gump' running 20,000 miles across America to fight childhood obesity
SAN ANTONIO – A man on a mission to fight childhood obesity is changing the world one step at a time. Jim Plunkett-Cole, also known as, Jim Gump, has challenged himself to run 20,000 miles across the United States. His goal is to tackle obesity and inspire both children and adults to live an active lifestyle.
Plunkett-Cole says his journey started in Alabama. He arrived in the Alamo City last week for Christmas.
“20,000 miles is a lot," says the runner.
For the last three years, Plunkett-Cole has been preparing by running a 10K every day for the last three days.
“I meet quite a few people while on this journey,” says Plunkett-Cole.
The skilled runner says many people in America struggle with obesity and weight issues and that he wants to help.
“I am very supportive of what it is that I am trying to do.”
He plans on running nearly 20 miles per day to complete the challenge over the next three years.
“You got to do a lot of miles every day and you got to keep it interesting,” adds Plunkett-Cole.
He even has a little bit of company along the way.
“Here is Wilson,” says Plunkett-Cole, as he takes out a tennis ball he found on a street in San Antonio.
“I haven't put any hair or a face on him yet,” he adds.
Plunkett-Cole say says the inspiration for his journey stems from the movie, “Forest Gump.”
“I am using one of America's most famous iconic films.”
However, there’s a difference.
“I am not trying to be Forest Gump. That's probably why I don't have a big beard,” says Plunkett-Cole.
At the end of the day, he says it simply comes down to the cause he is running for.
“What I am really trying to do here is to try to get children active.”
Plunkett-Cole says he's also visiting schools across America to share his message.
To pay for the trip, the runner keeps up with his business back home in Britain.
“Before I run each day I do three hours work and then I start running.”
He says every day can be a challenge for him, including running and finding trails. However, one major challenge is how he mentally copes.
“The most challenging thing is the psychological bit of it.”
Plunkett-Cole is about 2,000 miles in and he has no plans on stopping.
“18,000 to go," he adds.
Plunkett-Cole’s journey can be followed via Google Maps.