93-year-old WWII vet becomes oldest person to run coast-to-coast

Sunday, August 21, 2016
WW II vet runs coast-to-coast
A 93-year-old World War II veteran completed his coast-to-coast trek on Saturday

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga -- A 93-year-old World War II veteran completed his coast-to-coast trek on Saturday, becoming the oldest person in America to run across the country.

Ernie Andrus started in California three years ago and finished more than 2,600 miles later at St. Simons Island, Georgia. It all started with a relay race and a love for running.

"If an 88-year old man gets this much attention in a relay race, how about a 90-year-old running coast to coast?" Andrus said. "So I decided right there, I'm gonna do it."

That was all it took to start his journey three years ago. He ran three days a week starting at the Pacific Ocean and ending in St. Simons, Ga., where he was joined by more than 200 of his newest friends.

"To see a 93-year old man run across the country. If he can do that, you can do anything," said Mark Wrathall, who traveled from California.

The World War II veteran isn't just running to make history, he wants to honor it. He is raising money and awareness to bring the landing ship tank LST 325 vessel across the Atlantic. It's the only one left that's restored and fully operational.

"Give some people credit that built them and then sailed on them," Andrus said. "You know almost ever serviceman has been on one. You know between WWII and Vietnam. And now there's none left."

The crowd gave all the credit to Ernie.

"It's just too many emotions to even describe," said coordinator Chandra Kendall. "It was amazing. It was amazing. I'm so proud of Ernie."

That pride is enough to keep Ernie running.

"I like that," he said. It's a good feeling when people tell me that."

Andrus finished his run a day after his 93rd birthday.