3 Years, 2 Months and 14 Days: Philipp, the Austrian Forrest Gump

A man is running on the street

Go running every day? Philipp Grill has done exactly that – for three years, two months and 14 days. The amateur runner, who runs at least 8 km a day, never planned his challenge. “At the time, I wasn’t in very good shape and wanted to lose some weight. So, at first, running was more of a means to an end. But things quickly changed,” said Philipp, who in the meantime has become known as the “Austrian Forrest Gump”.

A man running on the street in the desert

To stay motivated, Philipp signed up for the Wings for Life Run 2014. “Preparing for the race was a great source of motivation. During the race itself, I managed to run a whopping 40 km – I had never run that far in my life,” said the Austrian with pride. “The fact that paraplegic people would do anything to be able to run kept me going and going.”

From Africa to New Zealand: Philipp has run all over the world

Philipp also ran every day on his several-month trip. No matter the weather, nor the country… the 30-year-old knew: “I want to explore the world by running.” The routes led him through Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, and later through Chile, Peru and Bolivia. The world traveler also laced up his running shoes on the Fijis and in Australia and New Zealand. Philipp laughed and said: “My friends had been calling me Forrest Gump for a while. So when they asked me when I was planning to stop running, I said that I wanted to run as long as Forrest did. That was 1,172 days in a row. I will reach this goal in the spring of this year.” But even after he achieved this amazing feat, he didn’t stop – Philipp is still running every day.

Philipp Grill:

“I don’t see myself as a gifted runner – I’m just a little crazy… And good at time management.”

A man is sitting on the desk, looking into the camera

Fun Facts

  • Shortest distance: 8.01 km
  • Average distance: 10.83 km
  • Longest distance: 44.17 km
  • Total number of km run: 13,001.83 km
  • Number of running shoes gone through: 16 pairs
  • Calories: 1,147,689 calories

Tips from the Austrian Forrest Gump

Even though Philipp has run so many kilometers and gone through 16 pairs of running shoes, he was also a beginner at one time. For all those interested in starting running, the Austrian has the following tips:

  • Get started now! Set small goals. It’s better to run 3 km on 3 days than 9 km on one day (and then give up again immediately).
  • Find a route at the beginning that you can finish easily. Starting out too hard only leads to frustration and, in the worst case, injuries.
  • You don’t have time? Every day has 24 hours, every week 7 days. Having time is a question of prioritizing.
  • Be honest with yourself… Is the reason you aren’t exercising a real reason – or simply an excuse? 😉
  • Listen to your body. An hour running in the fresh air can work wonders and afterward, you feel fitter than ever before.
  • Make a pact with yourself! Tell yourself: “I will run three days every week.” Then you will do it. Why? Because you really want to!
  • Keep a “running journal”. Track your runs with the Runtastic app, so you have a great overview of your achievements. Looking back on your past runs can be an incredible source of motivation.

The key to success for Philipp is willpower. Quitting was never an option. “Sure, there were days when I wasn’t really in the mood, but I didn’t stop running – there was no question of that. In fact, running has now become an opportunity for me to listen to myself and my body.”

Would you like to tell us about your success? Send us your story and some before & after photos to mysuccess@runtastic.com.


adidas Runtastic Team Are you looking to lose some weight, get more active, or improve your sleep? The adidas Runtastic Team gives you useful tips and inspiration to reach your personal goals. View all posts by adidas Runtastic Team