HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Huntsville Police Department teamed up with Running 4 Heroes Saturday to honor Officer Garrett Crumby and all fallen law enforcement and first responders in Alabama.
Together, they ran through downtown Huntsville.
Around nine years old, Running 4 Heroes co-founder Zechariah Cartledge wasn’t playing with legos, he was looking for a way to show appreciation for those who give their lives in the line of duty.
Cartledge was inspired by the Tunnels to Towers Foundation and the 5K they hold annually.
“I was only 9 years old and I was inspired by all the first responders running around me,” Cartledge recalled, “They had lots of dedication towards the run and obviously it had to be an organization that meant a lot to them if they gave that much energy towards a very long run.”
Zechariah, who is not local to Alabama, took his gift for running and created his own run, a one-mile race with officers by his side.
Cartledge holds these runs across the United States to honor law enforcement officers and first responders who give the ultimate sacrifice.
“After lots of support in 2019, we started our own organization which was Running 4 Heroes we had the idea to run the mile to honor fallen police officers and firefighters who are killed in the United States,” Cartledge said, “That’s what we started and over time we are able to do more stuff including now we give a memorial mount for all first responders in Alabama.”
On Saturday, members of the Huntsville Police Department laced up their sneakers and joined Zechariah for about one mile.
“The fact that a young man and his family were willing to come here and honor these officers not just the one that died but the one thats recovering it means alot to us,” Huntsville Police Chief Kirk Giles said.
“The overwhelming support we’ve had from the community the last few weeks has been tremendous,” he added.
The race started at South Side Square and ended at the Huntsville Police Headquarters.
Following the finish line, Zechariah presented the Crumby family with the flag he held during his run and called for 21 seconds of silence in remembrance of the fallen.
Altogether, they trekked to the finish line in just about eight minutes.