Ireland's 'Forrest Gump' returns after 50,000 km run

Tony Mangan arrives back on Irish soil after an epic 50,000 km run around the world. Credit: YouTube

Ireland's real-life Forrest Gump has arrived home after an epic four-year 50,000 km run around the world.

Former construction worker Tony Mangan is now threatening to recreate the famous "little run" scene from the Oscar-winning movie as he prepares to end his adventure at next month's Dublin Marathon.

The 57-year-old Dubliner set off on his solitary east-west run across five continents, six deserts and 41 countries in October 2010.

His epic journey saw him battle against 50C temperatures, severe dehydration, crippling athlete's foot and being driven off the road by lorries in India.

But now Mangan is back on Irish soil, he hopes the exploits will continue after he invited people to join him on stretches of a 45-day 1,600km circuit of the country.

He said: "One or two people have actually asked me along the way does anyone mention Forrest Gump? But I always call him a coward because he never finished his run back across America.

"I still do believe, even though it has been a tough slog, that running is the best way to see the world, running or walking and I really do believe I was put on the planet to run around the world."

Mangan was greeted by about 50 friends and family at Dublin Port on Saturday on his return.

One of the first things he said was: "Let's go and have breakfast."

The round the world trip was the equivalent to 1,185 marathons, almost 300 a year.

Mangan, who is planning to write a book about his exploits, is only the third person to run complete the athletic adventure.