Runners Pause in the Middle of a Race to Thank World War II Veteran for His Service (Video)

runners stop race to thank wwii veteran

The San Jose 408K is not a competitive race. It’s just a fun charity race cleverly named after the city’s area code. Nobody was going to qualify for the Boston Marathon by winning this thing. However, that doesn’t make what happened during the race this past Sunday any less special.

This year the 408K partnered with the Pat Tillman Foundation to raise scholarship money for veterans and their families. So when the race wound its way through San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood, 95-year-old World War II veteran Joe Bell decided he’d walk to the edge of his front yard and pay tribute to the cause by cheering everyone on as they ran by—and he did it in uniform.

Pretty soon, one by one, runners were steering off the road to go shake Bell’s hand and thank him for his service.

Have a look:

According to Julia Prodis Sulek of the San Jose Mercury News, this wasn’t just a passing moment. It went on throughout the race, which featured some 5,000 runners.

“They hugged me and kissed me and the young men shook my hands,” Bell explained. “I never knew there were that many people that would do that.”

Hat Tip – [San Jose Mercury News]

Tags: Charity Event, charity run, running, veteran,