World War II vet is running across the U.S.

Ernie Andrus at the top of Sierra Montosa, a 4-mile long climb just west of Vernon, Arizona; photo by Mike GeekonaBike posted on Andrus's Facebook page

Ernie Andrus at the top of Sierra Montosa, a 4-mile long climb just west of Vernon, Arizona; photo by Mike GeekonaBike posted on Andrus’s Facebook page

Ernie Andrus is making the run of his life. He started at the Pacific Ocean near San Diego in October 2013, two months after his 90th birthday. He plans to keep running until he touches the Atlantic Ocean. His goal is to earn enough money from sponsors to send the U.S.S. LST 325, a decommissioned naval ship, back to France in time for the 75th anniversary of of the invasion of Normandy.

Andrus came late to long-distance running. In the video below he says he did his first half marathon when he was 87, his second when he was 89. Just for fun he did four 200-mile relays in the year in between.

At a pace of three to ten miles a day, the journey is incredibly long. The Bronwood (Texas) Bulletin celebrated his arrival there on May 7, 2015. His Facebook page tracks his progress on a daily basis.

It takes strength of character to keep going mile after mile, year after year, doggedly pursuing an elusive goal. Andrus has plenty of that. Whether or not he raises the millions needed to send that ship to France, or even whether or not he reaches the Atlantic, Ernie Andrus is a winner. His run is more about setting a personal goal than reaching the destination. He inspires people with every mile he runs.

 

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