WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. – Nearly every night here in Central Florida a ceremony takes place that very few attend but many from around the country watch via live stream.
We first featured 12-year old Zechariah Cartledge in 2019 when he was running one mile to honor local law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Since then his nonprofit, Running 4 Heroes, has grown. He’s been able to raise thousands for first responders who have been injured on the job.
You can find Cartledge most nights at Layer Elementary School in Winter Springs where he runs a mile in tribute to fallen first responders. Lights flash and sirens ring out as Cartledge takes seven laps around the school’s bus loop, a personalized “thin blue line” American flag in hand.
The flags are embroidered with the honored officer’s name.
Cartledge said he’s loved running since he was in the first grade.
“At first it was the competition. I loved competing against other kids,” Cartledge remembers. “Eventually that led me to do 5ks.”