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Police officer motivates Riverrock runner: “Her determination inspired me”

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RICHMOND, Va -- One of the biggest cheerleaders for runners taking part in Dominion Riverrock's Bust the Banks Half Marathon on Sunday was a 23-year veteran of the Richmond Police force.

CBS 6 caught up with Traffic Sergeant Berkley Eikerenkoetter just days after a picture of the officer running with the final participant was posted on Facebook. The picture has since received hundreds of likes and comments after shared on other social media sites.

"I didn’t know somebody had been taking pictures," Sgt. Eikerenkoetter said outside of the 4th Precinct Tuesday.

Sgt. Eik, as he's nicknamed, was assigned to block traffic on Riverside Drive during the race. Instead of just standing guard the former Marine blew his whistle and cheered on the runners as they passed.

As the unnamed final runner neared his section, Eikerenkoetter linked arms and joined her. "Her determination inspired me even more and I started running with her. She just looked so happy while we were run," he said.

Eikerenkoetter hopes the picture inspires others to do good.

"Everybody needs help and encouragement along the way," he said. "No matter how strong or determined you are, that little bit of encouragement goes a long way."

Traffic Sgt. Berkley Eikerenkoetter

Traffic Sgt. Berkley Eikerenkoetter

"Thank you for going above and beyond!" one person said on Facebook.

Other runners felt the same way. In the comments, other people who participated said he ran with them and had a lot of enthusiasm as he was along the course.

"This officer was the best!!! He blew his whistle when I went by the first time and on my way back he ran down the hill with me!" said Katie in the comments.

"This officer was such a delight to see on the course!!! Loved his energy," said Rachel.