After nearly three years, about 2,600 miles and gaining thousands of fans, 93-year-old Ernie Andrus has reached the Atlantic Ocean.
The World War II veteran, who celebrated his birthday Friday, planted his feet along Georgia’s coast Saturday following a cross-country trek that began in San Diego in October 2013.
According to WTOC News, he is the oldest man to have ever completed such a mission.
“This was great. A lot of mixed emotions because I hate to see it end. I was having so much fun, but I was so glad to put my foot in that ocean and know I made it,” he told the local news station on Saint Simons Island, where a massive crowd gathered to greet him.
In the audience, fans waved American flags and cheered him on, some wearing T-shirts reading “Run, Ernie, Run” in a likely cheeky nod to the Hollywood veteran Forrest Gump, who made a similar trek in the Academy Award-winning film.
“This is probably the biggest crowd,” he remarked while addressing his fans. He noted that at one time he had around 2,000 people following him in Louisiana.