Boston's 'Forrest Gump' re-enacting end of cross-country run

Boston's 'Forrest Gump' re-enacting end of cross-country run
FILE - In this Aug. 29, 1978 file photo, Dave McGillivray reaches out to fans at Fenway Park, in Boston, as he completes a 3,400-mile, 80-day cross country run to raise funds for a children's cancer research charity. On Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, McGillivray, now race director of the Boston Marathon, is to dash to home plate at Boston's Fenway Park, re-enacting the last leg of his 80-day run in 1978. (AP Photo/Chip Maury, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Before there was “Forrest Gump,” there was Dave McGillivray.

Gump, the fictitious simpleton played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 Oscar-winning film, trotted across the U.S. because he “just felt like running.”

McGillivray did the same, but with a singular purpose. Forty years ago this month, he completed his own cross-country running odyssey from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, to benefit the Jimmy Fund and its fight against cancer.

On Thursday, McGillivray — now race director of the Boston Marathon — will dash into Boston’s Fenway Park, re-enacting the last leg of his 80-day run in 1978.

Hundreds of people since have matched or exceeded that feat, but McGillivray was one of the firsts.