‘The Real Life Forrest Gump’ running across America

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. (WBOY) — If you see a man running east on Highway 50 that looks a bit like Forrest Gump, it’s actually Michael Wardian on his cross-state trip. United.

Wardian was born in Morgantown, West Virginia and lived in Fairmont until he was in 4th grade. Even at a young age, he always dreamed of racing across America.

Her journey began on May 1 in San Francisco, California. It crosses 13 states, travels more than 3,200 miles on America’s loneliest highway, Route 50, and will end in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on July 1.

Michael races across America to raise money for World Vision, with the goal of raising $100,000 for clean water projects.

“I thought running across America would be a great way to spread the word about World Vision and what they are doing to help people get clean water,” said Michael Wardian, Pro Marathon and Ultra-Marathon Runner. .

Michael has been a runner since 1995, and it’s taken him since to prepare for the long journey across the United States. He said his daily runs average about 50 miles.

Map of the route Wardian will take on Highway 50. (Courtesy of Michael Wardian)

Growing up, Wardian saw Forrest Gump, and it inspired him to run across the country. He said he hopes his journey will inspire others.

“The best advice I can give is: pick a big, bold goal, then work out how you want to get there, which might be to do your first 5,000km, then take action to get there.”

Michael Wardian

“I just heard this term today ‘radical trust’ to start with, and I often think that’s all it takes. And don’t be afraid to ask for help; I think you be surprised how many people want to be part of your journey and help you get where you want to go.

Wardian suffers from a condition known as athlete’s heart, where his heart is enlarged, but that doesn’t stop him from living his dream. During this run, MedStar Health and Cardiac Insights will study what happens when her body is subjected to extreme conditions to find data that could help people with a similar condition.

Wardian told 12 News that he got into the West Virginia spirit with his musical choices during his time in the state.

“I feel like every day I’ve got ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC, ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ by Ozzy Ozborne, and the last few days I’ve been playing like ‘Country Roads Take Me Home’ by John Denver,” Wardian said.

He hopes to set foot in the Atlantic Ocean on July 1.

“I think one of the coolest things about this trip was being able to connect with people along the way, and I can’t wait for more and more people to come out, so I’ll be near Clarksburg tomorrow [Friday] starting at 6am so if people want to come and run a few miles or say hello that would be great. If someone drives by and wants to honk or wave, that would be fine too,” Wardian said.

If you wanted to follow Wardian via GPS on his journey across America, you can track him by clicking here. To see his schedule and where he will be next, click here.

If you would like to donate to World Vision and help with clean water for all, click here.

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