When you think of someone running coast to coast, the last person you would think of would be a 91 year old man. I know some 18 year olds that cannot run a mile without giving up. Ernest Andrus served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in 2013, he set out on a journey across America to raise money for his old World War II Landing Craft, LST 235. The hope is that enough money can be raised to restore LST 235, the last fully operational LST in existence, and get it to Normandy for the next commemoration of D-Day.
Ernest Andrus planned this fundraising effort pretty well. He knew that at 90 years old at the start of the run in 2013, he was not going to do it by just going out and hitting the roads. With the trip lasting 2 to 4 years, he was going to need some support along the way . Andrus has invested his own money into this fundraiser in the sum of $153,655.92 for a motor home and a tow car to be used as support vehicles. While some of the money he raised is helping to pay back the money he needed to spend to support this effort, he has managed to raise a little over $8,000 in donations which will go to the LST 235 Ship Memorial. The sad part is that they need millions for the memorial according to Andrus.
“If for any reason I am not able to finish the run, I will go back and run it at another time”.
The run started on October 7, 2013 with him “touching the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, California”. His plan is to touch the Atlantic Ocean near Brunswick Georgia. He plans to run three days a week averaging a half-marathon and a marathon each week. His run days are Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, weather permitting. Spoken like the hard core Veteran he is, he says “If for any reason I am not able to finish the run, I will go back and run it at another time”.
A map of the rest of the route that Ernest Andrus will run was posted on March 24, 2015.
Andrus keeps his facebook page updated with information about his run. Below are some of the more memorable posts to his page:
The first post to facebook following the start of his run.
Susan, Ernest’s wife, had a stroke
Ernest’s wife passed away
Runner flies from Maryland to Dallas, Texas just to run with Ernest on Valentines Day
A Record Breaking Run for Ernest
Ernest and his “trademark” Rainbow headband
Ernest keeps a list of the runners who support him along the route listed on his fundraising page. The runners are listed by legs (parts of the trip), the date(s) they ran, their name, age and how many times they have run with him. You can see the complete list of names here. Ernie is also keeping track of the volunteers that are helping to make this fund raiser a success. Those people are listed here.
If you are able to get out and run with Ernest Andrus, do it. He is always looking for runners and some that contact him and tell him they will run with him are no-shows. The map of the rest of his route is shown above and you can check his facebook page to see where he is and the time and location for his next run. He also invites you to contact him at 928-308-5478, or by email at [email protected]
If you would like to donate, visit this page.