Run, Gary, run!
Runner Gary Bohamed completes his goal of running in all 50 states
By DON WILBURN
It’s not everyday that life imitates art, but that is just the case with Gary Bohamed, 62, who just checked off a big one on his bucket list (of Forrest Gump-sized proportions one might say) as he just recently completed his goal of running in all 50 states with Arkansas and West Memphis counting as his 49th.
Indeed Gary’s goal surpassed the famous _lm’s _ctional protagonist in both scope, time and length as not only did he take 30 years to reach his goal but he also set foot in each and every state in America. Something Forrest never even came close to.
Bohamed, who is retired but was a health care executive by trade, says “It just came to me while I was swatting away at mosquitos in Missouri, my tenth or twelfth state, and I asked myself how many I had done up to that point and if I could and if it would be possible to do all 50.”
“My rules are simple” Gary stated “It’s not quite 5K, but three miles, which is just a little bit less. I run a mile and a half and usually turn around and come back. It must also be done on earth” meaning no athletic tracks or parking lots, but actual streets.
The Times asked jokingly if anyone had ever compared him to Forrest Gump
See BOHAMED, page A2
Gary Bohamed crosses the “finish line” at West Memphis City Hall.
Photo by Don Wilburn BOHAMED
From page A1
and surprisingly he said he had not. Hard to believe as after West Memphis, Gary completed his goal in the the very appropriate state of Alabama where the mayor of Florence gave him the key to the city.
Not to be outdone, when we asked him what his favorite state to run in was Bohamed said very sincerely “Oh, definitely West Memphis. I had never had the police of a city insist on an escort and it was nice to be able to run without dodging traffic or be alert for other dangers. The people of Arkansas were so pleasant and hospitable. It was a real treat.”
Not all cities have been as pleasant though. Gary got lost once in the confusing city streets of another famous runner, Rocky Balboa, when he ran in Philadelphia and another time in West Virginia when tiring from nearly completing his run a “humongous dog” began chasing after him. “Nothing bad happened though. We worked it out” he said.
Gary started his goal nearly 30 years ago, his first state being California and his 50th being Alabama and now that it is completed we asked if he had any more goals on his bucket list or what he would do next. Channeling the famous ’90s film character once more who once said “I just felt like runnin,’” Gary says that is exactly what he intends to do, “Keep running.”