71-Year-Old Man Takes a Cross-Country Walk

Army vet has worn out three pairs of sneakers in 1300 miles

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Get your kicks.

    When 71-year-old Emory Duick said he was going for a walk, he wasn't kidding.

    Duick left his Des Plaines home on June 2 and has taken a stroll of about 1,300 miles along Route 66. And he's not stopping there.

    "A lot of people, they retire and they don't know what to do with themselves," said Duick in a telephone interview from New Mexico. "They sometimes just vegetate or just drop out of life. I want to let people know there's a lot to life -- that they can continue on and enjoy their life any way they want to."

    Duick intends to walk all the way to Santa Monica in California, so he still has about 1,150 miles to go.

    With his daughter Lauren walking or driving alongside him, he walks 10 miles a day and has worn out three pairs of sneakers.

    This puts all those walking-uphill-to-school stories to shame now, doesn't it?

    "I had blistering in the beginning, but my feet have toughened up over 1,300 miles," Duick explains. "All I can do is take it one day at a time and pray to God to help give me strength to do it."

    At 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighing 235 pounds, Duick is in excellent shape despite the lack of cartilage in his left knee. The Army veteran began running marathons when he was 43 and, so far, has completed 18 marathons.

    Many of us can't even run up the stairs to the 'L' platform without getting winded.

    And as if the weather hadn't been enough of an obstacle, Duick will now have to face high altitudes and thin air.

    "The toughest is yet to come because we're going to Albuquerque where there's mountains," Duick said. "When you get up to Flagstaff and Arizona, the elevations are high, 5,700 to 6,000 feet."

    Suddenly, that 4-block walk to our parking spot doesn't sound so bad now.

    Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, often runs... when the ice cream truck speeds away.