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Siouxland man runs for a cause

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SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KTIV) - Rik Zortman has run all over the country and even internationally. But, for the 2020 calendar year, he has a new goal.

"I'm trying to run in all 99 counties," said Rik Zortman.

Also known as the human etch-a-sketch, Rik Zortman has been running around cities and forming names with his GPS.

Since he started, he's spelt out over 1000 names.

"The reason why I do names is because my son Armstrong passed away from cancer. He loved to run. So, I picked up running in 2009 shortly after his death. And in 2017, I started messing around with my app. And so I started doing names and then I started doing names of kids fighting cancer," said Zortman.

His new goal, is to run names in all 99 Iowa counties.

"Armstrong had his story. He fought brain cancer. Unfortunately he lost it. And he passed away. Some of these others that have passed on, they also have stories. So, I'm trying to help not only myself in running for others, but helping them spread their story of their child or their person that they've loved so much. So, it's kind of like a therapy for me. But at the same time, it's helping those around the world.

Zortman says Armstrong is with him everyday in spirit.

"I think he'd be proud of what I'm doing. Because not only am I honoring his story and getting his story out there, but I'm also helping others along the way," said Zortman.

Zortman adds, depending on what he's spelling the run can take upwards of two and a half hours.

If you'd like to request your name for Zortman to run, you can click here.

For his run in Woodbury County, Zortman ran the name 'Catie'

Emily Schrad

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