MISSOURI - A police officer in Missouri has embarked on a massive undertaking, spending more than a week jogging across the state.
He will traverse hundreds of miles on foot - and in uniform - in honor of fellow officers who have died in the line of duty.
When we talked with Officer Keegan Hughes of the Blue Springs, Missouri, Police Department Friday, he was moments away from starting a monumental challenge - running from St. Charles to Kansas City in nine days.
"Full uniform," Hughes said. "The only difference is I wear running shoes."
That's more than 260 miles - about 30 per day.
Hughes says it's worth every step as he honors Missouri's fallen first responders, like Officer Grant Jansen of the Saint Charles Police Department, who died 10 years ago in a car crash.
"After the years pass on a lot of times you feel forgotten," Annette, his widow, said. "So, it's just nice for it to be in conjunction with 10 year - and then also just for us to feel like we're still remembered."
Annette and her family were on hand to cheer on Hughes.
Others on the honored list include St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder, who was shot and killed responding to a call, and State Trooper James Bava who died during a car chase.
"As a law enforcement officer, I felt that we need to remember these officers, and additionally we do this to raise money for first responder charities," Hughes said.
Hughes started planning the run five months ago.
He's not sure what he'll face, but he knows the families appreciate the support.
"I can't imagine the physical pain he'll be going through but it kind of mimics the emotional pain we've been through for 10 years," Annette said.
And there he goes, carrying the American flag and surrounded by a support team.
Hughes ends the run next Saturday, March 31, in Kansas City.
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