Steve Cannon is blazing a runner’s trail to fight cancer. Photo submitted.
Steve Cannon is blazing a runner’s trail to fight cancer. Photo submitted.

For Steve Cannon, the business model mimics the life plan: Just keep running.

Hence the name of his latest business venture, Runner’s Residential Real Estate, located in the same sparsely furnished office as his Cannon Commercial Real Estate Services LLC at 8550 Hickman Road in Clive.

There is a practical reason for the business name. Cannon meets a lot of clients through his endeavors as a runner.

On the other hand, he is not running to win trophies or attract business clients.

“It’s a great way to blend my passion with work,” he said. “My passion is running to benefit those in the cancer battle.”

His mission is to take one quick step at time while raising funds for cancer research.

Last July, he ran the equivalent of 40 marathons in 40 days, the amount of time it took to run around Lake Michigan, in what was billed as the “run to cure cancer.” He covered more than 1,000 miles and stepped foot in four states.

This year, he will be running and climbing and bicycling, no doubt, on behalf of Above + Beyond Cancer, the nonprofit organization created by cancer specialist Richard Deming and adventurer Charlie Wittmack.

Cannon has been running on behalf of the Livestrong Foundation since 2009.

And all that time, he has maintained a real estate practice that began in the late 1990s when he went to work for Darin Ferguson at Ferguson Commercial Real Estate Services LLC.

In 2005, he decided to set out on his own and opened Cannon Commercial Real Estate Services.

After returning from the run around Lake Michigan, he opened Runner’s Residential Real Estate. He likes the fact that folks buying a home carry a little more emotion into the purchase. A commercial real estate deal can be a pretty cold transaction.

The human touch is on display at Cannon’s Hickman Road office.

The first thing you notice are the bikes: One a sleek racing bicycle, the other a pieced-together conversation-starter that sports a car radio and a rack that supports a steel drum smoker. It is Cannon’s RAGBRAI transportation, and when fully loaded, it weighs 180 pounds.

There are a couple of real estate signs leaning in corners. But, the attention-getter is a poster signed by participants and supporters when Cannon participated in the Run Across Iowa, another effort to raise funds and awareness for the cancer fight.

Those events followed the death of his grandmother to cancer, the death of an uncle to cancer and encounters with people like Deming, who has set a goal to convince people that they can lead a life beyond the gritty struggle with the disease.

“What happened was that when I ran across Iowa, the gift I received from people who were fighting cancer themselves, or who were in the fight against cancer, which is lifesaving, was that I realized how valuable everything is and everything can literally be taken in an instant,” Cannon said. “On the outside, it looked like I was doing something for these people, but they were really doing something for me.”

Cannon is helping to organize the Million Dollar Marathon with Above + Beyond Cancer. The fundraising event will feature 160 people who will run a 26.2 mile leg of journey from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast, beginning June 21. Go to www.coasttocoastforcancer.org for more information.