An Iowa dad who runs for a reason to raise awareness about childhood cancer is in Kansas City to compete in the 2017 Kansas City Marathon.
On Saturday, Rik Zortman will run alongside thousands of marathon runners. It's a break from his normal mission to run for kids battling cancer. His son, Armstrong, passed away from brain cancer.
He uses the app Map My Run. The app uses GPS to track his movements.
His first goal was to write 100 names during September for childhood cancer awareness month. He's surpassed that and written about 200 names while running during the last two months.
He can finish short two letter names in about a mile but longer more complicated names can take 6-7 miles. He writes the names vertically or diagonally based on the letters in the name. It takes about two blocks to write a letter.
Each name is for a child that is battling cancer, beat cancer or passed away.
"Every name has a story. Some stories have been pushed aside because their child passed away 10-15 years ago. When I do their name their story can come back out. To go out and do two-three names to get their story it means a lot to me," Zortman said.
After Zortman writes a name with his GPS for a child, he posts it on social media to be shared with family and friends.
So far, the only letter he has not written while running is the letter Q.
Anyone who would like to make a request for a child can contact Rik Zortman on Facebook.
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