City of Huntsville hosts Running 4 Heroes in honor of former officer killed in the line of duty

Zechariah Cartledge ran a mile in tribute to fallen Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley.
Zechariah Cartledge ran a mile in tribute to fallen Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley.(Running 4 Heroes)
Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 10:48 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - First responders and dozens of supporters made their way to downtown Huntsville to participate in “Running 4 Heroes”.

They were honoring former HPD officer Garrett Crumby who was killed in the line of duty last month.

The founder, 14-year-old Zechariah Cartledge says he was only 9-years-old when he was inspired by the “Tunnel to Towers” foundation.

Every year, that organization hosts 5Ks across the country in honor of injured and fallen 9/11 first responders.

“I was inspired by all the first responders that were running around me,” Cartledge says. “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 effort in this relatively long run.”

At 10am Saturday morning, supporters started their run at the Fallen Officers Memorial near the Madison County Courthouse.

From there, they jogged their way through downtown Huntsville before finishing at the Fallen Officers Memorial at Huntsville Police Headquarters.

Huntsville Chief of Police Kirk Giles says to have someone so young be so supportive to their first responders means a lot.

“Just the fact that a young man and his family were willing to come here and honor our officers, not only the one who died, but the one who’s still recovering, it means a lot to us,” Giles said. “And to think that he takes his time -- I mean he’s not from here obviously -- so he travels here from such a distance away and is willing to honor our officers. And it boosts morale of our guys as well, it just means a lot to us.”

Cartlidge was once a donor to Tunnel to Tower, so he decided to model his own organization after them so he could give back in his own way.

Now, he says he’s been able to give back half a million dollars to communities who have lost a hero.

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