Here is a story that will inspire you to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions. A World War II veteran, nearly a century old, is seeing the country on foot.
4.72 miles: that’s how far 96-year-old World War II Navy Veteran Ernie Andrus ran in Ocean Springs. That’s only a fraction of what’s he done. He is running across the country from Coast to Coast. “I’ve been running ever since I was born. My mother said I stood up at like eight months and I didn’t walk, I ran.”
Ernie started his current running journey in Georgia on March 16th, 2019. This isn’t the first time he’s run across the country either! In 2016, Ernie became the oldest person ever to run across America. “I did it once. I finished my run from the Pacific to the Atlantic one day after my 93rd birthday. After a couple of years of running in the same place I got a little bored and decided to go back the other way.”
While Ernie has been hitting the pavement, he’s acquired some fans from all around the world including Jennifer Harm from Arizona who had the chance to run with him in Ocean Springs today. “I have followed Mr. Ernie on his Coast to Coast Facebook site for a long time now. It just popped up on my Facebook feed and when I saw where he was and where we were I thought I am not going to pass up this opportunity to come walk with him!”
Ernie served in the Navy in World War II. “The main thing I learned was discipline in the Navy which is probably the hardest thing to say.”
At 96-years-old, Ernie hopes to inspire other seniors to live an active and healthy lifestyle. “I don’t know. I didn’t think it was such a big thing to take on. At 90-years-old I knew I could do it. I’m not that sure now because I’ll be 100 when I finish, but nobody took me serious the first time. It was only me that knew I could do it. Now everyone thinks I can do it, but I’m not so sure myself.”
Ernie hopes to reach his finish line in San Diego, California by August 2023.