Annual Torch Run set for Friday

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* 2015 Special Olympics coverage
* 2014 PDP story and photo gallery

Key changes to this year’s North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics are likely to make it more attractive to a larger number of participants.

The course is nearly six miles shorter, from approximately 9.65 miles in 2014 to about 3.7 this year, and a new finishing point, too that features a downhill effort for than event has been staged for approximately 16 years.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Wendi Clewis and Thomas Grooms participate in the 2014 North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. This year's event begins at 10 a.m. Friday and goes from the Richmond County Animal Shelter to the Steele Street access point of Hitchcock Creek.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Wendi Clewis and Thomas Grooms participate in the 2014 North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. This year’s event begins at 10 a.m. Friday and goes from the Richmond County Animal Shelter to the Steele Street access point of Hitchcock Creek.

Lt. John Edwards of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said this year’s 3.7-mile route will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at the Richmond County Animal Shelter. Runners carrying a torch lit to inspire awareness and recognition of the effort made by Special Olympics athletes and the small army of volunteers that works to make it happen.

The group of two dozen or more law enforcement officers from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Probation and Parole, and Rockingham Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol will make their way from the shelter along Highway 74 into Rockingham.

Runners will turn left up Hancock Street for the largest incline of the event, then turn right onto East Franklin Street. After passing the Rockingham Police Department, the group — supported by patrol cars from the sheriff’s office, Rockingham PD and an ambulance from FirstHealth EMS — will head towards Fayetteville Road. The group then will turn left onto Steele Street towards the finish at the Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway.

The course eliminates the long, slow incline from the Pee Dee River access point, that served as the starting point in 2014, up Highway 74. The course change also allows some Special Olympics athletes to run along portions of the 3.7-mile route.

“That Pee Dee River hill sucks it out of them,” Edwards said.

While today’s temperature was nearly 90 degrees, Friday is expected to be a bit cooler with a high of 82.

Still, Edwards said, “that creek may look real tempting once we get down there.”

Students from Cordova School and others are expected to join the law enforcement officers for a post-run cookout at the covered pavilion at the Hitchcock Creek access point.

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors, Public safety, Rockingham

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