ANYONE who has seen the movie Forrest Gump knows the character ran a lot. In fact, once the man portrayed by Tom Hanks ran for three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours.
Although they are only one year in, the Gladstone Sunday Runners (GSR) are on the way to emulating Forrest, and the similarities are numerous.
When Forrest was asked why he ran, he responded, "I just felt like running".
Sunday morning runs may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the GSR crew do it because they simply feel like running.
While many of the members use it as training for the triathlons they compete in, there are some who are simply on the road with mates for the fitness and lifestyle.
On Father's Day 2012, GSR set out with a goal in mind: raise $1000 and run to Perth as a team (not literally), a nice short run of 5000km.
Forrest Gump ran until he reached the ocean and then just turned around and continued, and GSR has done the same.
"We have raised $2500 and run to Perth and back, nearly 10,000 clicks," Anton Guinea, of GSR, said.
"We smashed it."
Now 12 months and one week old, the GSR team has had a total of 70 runners participate during the year, and the number keeps growing, myself being the latest to be pushed by Guinea and his mates.
On Sunday morning 10 people ran 137.5km and raised $68.20 toward their cause, the money coming from weekly donations made by runners.
That is where the difference between GSR and Forrest comes into play.
While Hanks' character simply ran "for no particular reason" the GSR concept was founded with two things in mind.
Not only are the lifestyle and healthy habits created by running and other physical activity a bonus, but the money raised is to be donated to Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital.
"Anton is a burns victim from an industrial accident and my triplets were born at 29 weeks, so we both have a connection to the cause and that is why it started," Mark Veach, who is a regular attendee and now triathlete, said.
"I said, as a joke 11 months ago, why not ride to Brisbane and take the money with us, now we are doing it."
That is right, in just a couple of weeks, Guinea and Veach are hitting the saddles to donate $2500 to the hospital from GSR.
In just one year the GSR have smashed their own expectation two fold, and more and more are coming on board.
Although the crew flogged me, disappeared up the road and have me a sore boy even today, I will be back to help them run another lap of the country just like Forrest and make some more money to help others.
I am not sure about the others at GSR, but on Sunday morning I felt exactly like Gump himself.
"I'm pretty tired, I think I'll go home now."