Ernie Andrus is 90-years-old and has been slowly, but surely, making his way running across the United States since October, according to CBS. He started in San Diego and according to his Facebook page, he seems to currently be somewhere in New Mexico.
He’s in no rush. He expects his journey to take between two to four years, according to his website, Coast2CoastsRuns.
Andrus does love to run, but lots of people do and they don’t donate years of their lives to running across the US. According to his site, he has a pretty detailed reason why:
“This feat is being undertaken to raise money for the LST 325 SHIP MEMORIAL, INC. I was one of the crew that brought the LST 325 back from the Isle of Crete, Greece to the US in 2000, 2001 as aired on the history channel as The Return of LST 325. One thousand fifty one LSTs were built during World War II. The 325 is the only one left that has been restored and is still operational. Plans were being made to return the ship to Normandy for the D day memorial service (D day plus 70, 2014) and beach it at the same location where it was on Omaha beach 70 years before. The cost of taking this ship across the Atlantic and back is tremendous. Shortage of finances caused the 2014 trip to be canceled. Perhaps we can raise enough money for D Day plus 75 in 2019.’’
Andrus “runs five miles, hitchhikes back to his vehicle, and then runs another five, two days later,’’ according to CBS. His “vehicle’’ is an RV that he’s lived in throughout his trek.
“I know I can stick out my thumb and the first person to come by will give me a ride. They won’t pass up this old man out there, you know,’’ Andrus told KPHO.
But, he’s not entirely new to running.
According to KPHO, Andrus began recreational running once he retired at 64-years-old.
“I run my first half marathon when I was 87. I run my second one when I was 89,’’ Andrus said to KPHO.
He frequently updates his Facebook page so his followers and friends know how he’s doing and where he is:
“This shouldn’t be forgotten. Eisenhower and Churchill both made a similar remark that it’s the ship that won the war … Without ‘em how could you have taken all those islands? How could you have even taken Normandy?’’ Andrus told CBS back in June.
On his website, he welcomes anyone to join him along his run and gives his cell phone number and email address.
He accepts donations online here.