Utah’s Forrest Gump finishes 453-mile run Arizona-Idaho; STGnews Videocast, photo gallery

ST. GEORGE —Many would call Joshua Bryant’s run from the border of Arizona to the border of Idaho in 12 days impossible, but Utah’s Forrest Gump crossed his finish line to Idaho on Sunday, all in celebration of turning 30 years old.

With a headlamp, glow-in-the-dark safety vest, and pushing a baby stroller full of food and other supplies, Ogden resident Joshua Bryant began his 453-mile journey across the state of Utah on foot just outside St. George Jan. 21. His route took him through Cedar City, Milford, Delta, Payson, Salt Lake City, Ogden, to his finish line across the Idaho state border.


To watch videocast, click play arrow  play-arrow  in center of image at top of this story


Bryant has been running 100-mile stretches for about four years each January to celebrate his birthday, which falls on Jan. 31.

He said he originally planned to run 300 miles, from his home in Ogden to his brother Andrew’s home in Cedar City, until he realized the distance from the Arizona’s state line to the border of Utah and Idaho wasn’t much farther.


Read more: Utah’s Forrest Gump: Man runs 453 miles from Arizona to Idaho in 8 days – make that 12!


“It was tough,” Bryant said. “ It took more than 2 days longer than I hoped it would take. I finished Sunday Feb. 1, so going back to work Monday was really a challenge in itself.”

"Utah's Forrest Gump," Joshua Bryant at Idaho state line, near Portage, Utah, Feb. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Lori Murray Burlison, St. George News
“Utah’s Forrest Gump,” Joshua Bryant at Idaho state line, near Portage, Utah, Feb. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Lori Murray Burlison, St. George News

The hardest parts along Bryant’s journey were when he was lonely, which didn’t happen too often as he had hundreds of strangers, friends, and family supporting him throughout the 453-mile journey, he said.

“I had about a 20-hour span where I didn’t have cell reception,” Bryant said. “That was the toughest section for me. During that stretch I had a couple from Delta that had helped me find a place to stay, stop and say ‘hi’ and brought me some hot chocolate.”

The help and care of others along the journey lifted his spirit, he said. People would bring him trail mix, Gatorade, doughnuts, homemade energy bars and just say ‘hi’ and cheer him on.

“The host families that let me into their homes and fed me were a great help and motivation,” he said. “Every one of them had something special they added to my trip to help push me on.”

During the times he wanted to quit, Bryant said, he thought about his kids and family and kept telling himself, “I am not doing this because it is easy, I’m doing this because it is hard.”

"Utah's Forrest Gump," Joshua Bryant on his journey running across the state of Utah, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Joshua Bryant, St. George News
“Utah’s Forrest Gump,” Joshua Bryant on his journey running across the state of Utah, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Joshua Bryant, St. George News

“I want them to know that you will be rewarded for hard work in this life,” he said. “I have been thinking about: If I am the only one who has ever done this – I don’t feel like I can say that I am, but I feel confident that I am the only one crazy enough to do it in the middle of the winter.”

During his journey as he pushed a jogging stroller full of food and other supplies, Bryant said, he was pulled over by the police who thought he was pushing a baby in a stroller across the Interstate. Other difficulties Bryant faced were shin splints and he currently still faces much fatigue after completing his birthday run.

Some of the best moments were having people join him along the way, he said, and his family and friends greeted him with cupcakes at the Idaho state line.

"Utah's Forrest Gump," Joshua Bryant walks with friends and family toward the finish line at the state line into Idaho, near Portage, Utah, Feb. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Lori Murray Burlison, St. George News
“Utah’s Forrest Gump,” Joshua Bryant walks with friends and family toward the finish line at the state line into Idaho, near Portage, Utah, Feb. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Lori Murray Burlison, St. George News

“One of the best parts of the 11 days was when my grandpa found me in Salt Lake and walked a few blocks with me,” Bryant said. “I was super excited to see my wife and kids after not seeing them for over a week. They tagged along and had fun.”

At the state border, Bryant said, he surprised himself being able to sprint and cross through the finish line tape as he saw a bald eagle flying through the trees.

West Valley resident Adam Peterson contributed the videocast for this story.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • Cheryl February 5, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Congratulations on your Successful accomplishment !!!!!!!!! And Happy Birthday…..

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