IRELAND'S real-life Forrest Gump ran through the Wimmera this week on a four-year journey around the world.
Tony Mangan began a 50,000-kilometre run with the Dublin Marathon in October 2010 and has been running ever since.
He has travelled more than 27,500 kilometres on foot through North America, Central America, New Zealand and Australia.
Mr Mangan, 55, said he cycled around the world in 1978-79 after reading Dervla Murphy's book Full Tilt: Ireland to India.
"After cycling, I realised it would be nicer to slow it down a few gears and see the world by foot," he said.
"I wrote in my training diary one day that I felt so good I could run around the world.
"The moment I got that idea, I couldn't get it out of my head for more than a couple of waking hours."
Mr Mangan, who sleeps on the roadside or in the homes of people he meets along the way, said the run had made him appreciate the modern comforts of the Western world.
He said a highlight was sharing coffee and bread with a Peruvian woman who welcomed him into her home which had no electricity or furniture.
"It was then that I realised how lucky we are," he said.
"They are so house proud even though they have nothing.
"There is a truly wonderful world out there."
Mr Mangan will tackle Asia and Europe before finishing his journey at the Dublin Marathon next year.
He said he had become 'the old man at the back of the field' as age took its toll.
"I am tired but I know I'll be fine; ultra-runners know how to push their bodies," he said.
"Besides, every day is Christmas day if you are living your dream.
"I certainly don't believe it is a small world now that I am running around it."
Mr Mangan said people could visit www.theworldjog.com for more information about his run.