There 1,000,000 and one reasons why humans begin jogging, and chances are, you’ve heard about a million of them before: weight loss, charity fundraising, embracing the outdoors, and the typical alternative suspects. The one you probably have not heard is the tale of the guy who took up going for walks to preserve his submarine submission for the U.S. Navy. Until now. The yr became 1981, and sonar technician Sid Busch turned into 16 years into his military carrier career while he ruptured a disk in his back. The Navy became equipped to medically disqualify him from submarine responsibility. However, Busch becomes having none of it. “That becomes unacceptable,” he says. He was capable of persuading the Navy’s orthopedic overview board that if he may want to complete a marathon, that might show he turned into in shape to hold his submarine duty. “The rest,” Busch says, “is history.”
Having never surely run before, Busch coated up for the Hunter Army Airfield Marathon and completed the race in a first-rate three:45. He stored he submitted and served out what might come to be a 26-12 months Navy profession. As far as going for walks turned into involved, that have to where that. Except Busch kept going. Today, the nearly seventy-three-year-old is “retired retired” from the military, but now not from strolling. He’s completed more than two hundred marathons because of that first one, and like his military career, Busch’s running is stimulated by using a selfless choice to serve. In 2006, Busch started carrying an American flag to honor fallen veterans at some point in his races. “This changed into a manner to honor the men and women who were killed in foreign places,” he says. “Physically, it changed into plenty less complicated than I notion. Whenever I got worn out, I thought about why I become carrying it.”
Busch’s flag-flying races have earned him something of a cult following. As an eleven-time finisher of the US Air Force Marathon, he’s the unofficial face of the race. He’s so active on the USAF Marathon network Facebook page that human beings think he’s an administrator. “If you served in the military, irrespective of what department, there’s an extra unique feeling when you run a marathon placed on using the military,” Busch says. “The Air Force Marathon is in my top five. You’re on the Air Force base, and you end through a corridor of retired Air Force planes. A senior Air Force officer offers you a medal. The finish is out of this world.”
The rest of the race is quite terrific for Busch, too. Flag-bearing runners have become a not unusual sight at maximum massive street races, and they usually garner big support from spectators and their fellow racers alike.
But one such moment especially sticks out for Busch. He and a few friends were strolling with the flag in the course of the Historic Marine Corps Half Marathon, drawing near mile 10. “There changed into an aged man sitting in a chair in front of a house and while we ran by using he driven himself up to a standing function and saluted,” Busch recalls. “He changed into wearing a ball cap from World War II. I grew to become around and ran back to him to return the salute. That era becomes my hero.”
Running—just like the Navy—has allowed Busch to travel the world and meet thrilling new human beings. It also forces him to live-action as he moves up in age agencies. “Running has a tendency to put off illnesses related to getting old,” he says. “But it doesn’t make you more youthful because I keep getting slower and slower.” Though he’s beginning to show a few symptoms of wear and tear and tear (he had a manner remaining fall to treat an injured knee), Busch isn’t preventing. He says he’ll continue walking until it’s now not amusing for him—and as long as there are still squaddies to honor thru his miles. To date, Busch has given greater than a hundred marathon medals to households of fallen servicemen and ladies and connected with infinite others over time.