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Australia’s ‘Forrest Gump’ sets off around the world

By Sid Astbury

SYDNEY, Australia — One Australian not hanging around on Sydney Harbour to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks and welcome 2012 is Tom Denniss.

Early on Saturday, 50-year-old Denniss set off from the steps of the Opera House to run 29,000 kilometers (18,019 miles) through 25 countries and claim a place in the Guinness book of world records. It is the equivalent of 700 marathons in 700 days.

A warm-up for the alternative energy entrepreneur was running the 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) from Melbourne to Sydney two years ago.

He admits that the Tom Hanks film “Forrest Gump,” in which the central character runs for three years straight, provided inspiration for his record attempt.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend a year or two,” Denniss said in a statement. “I’ll be heading in a predominantly easterly direction around the world until I arrive back in Sydney.”

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