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When his community needed some support, Chris Wauben came running.
Wauben, a resident of Holiday, Fla., recently set out for a seven-mile run while carrying a 6-foot-by-10-foot American flag as part of his efforts to honor the brave health care workers battling the coronavirus crisis.
“I’ve been running with the American flag for probably about 10 years now,” said Wauben, adding that he did his first 10K a few decades back — and wearing a Santa hat.
Then, about 10 years ago, Wauben completed a 30-mile run in Miami, this time wearing a Santa hat with a little American flag attached, and “people absolutely loved it,” he said.
In the years since, Wauben has become known as “The Running Man” of Florida, often seen carrying at least one flag on his inspirational runs.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday, and Wauben knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“With everything going on, and watching people being so stressed out … I know how much the American flag brings smiles to peoples’ faces, and just uplifts them, and makes them feel better,” he said.
At around 9 a.m., Wauben set out on the 10-mile run, carrying his oversized flag down the Campbell Causeway in Tampa.
“From the second I got going, all the people [were] honking their horns, and waving,” Wauben said, adding that one woman even approached him on a bike, telling him she just wanted to meet him.
That was “one of the coolest things,” Wauben said. “It makes me happy, making them happy.”
Ultimately, though, Wauben told Fox News he hopes his run will inspire America’s front-line workers to keep fighting the good fight.
“I think this will really inspire the doctors and the nurses and the first responders, that we’re all going to make it through this OK,” Wauben told Fox News. “And this just inspires them to keep on going, and stay strong.”
Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.