• Holly Claytor

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Virginia warming up; Flame of Hope handed off on Shor

The Law Enforcement Torch Run, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, passes through Hampton Roads on Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday June 7, as peace officers make their way to Richmond for Special Olympics Virginia’s largest annual competition, the Summer Games on June 8 and 9.

The officers will carry the Flame of Hope as they run through Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach, which began participating in the event 30 years ago.

Runners will assemble for the run in Virginia Beach in the parking lot at BJ’s on Wednesday morning. There is one stop along the way, at Hardee’s on Dorset Avenue.

There will be about 50 runners for this leg of the run, which consists of participants from the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, police department, SWAT, and the emergency response team.

During the day on Wednesday, runners on the Eastern Shore are also escorting a torch from Chincoteague to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

As the final leg of their run, they will assemble at the Chesapeake Beach fire station in Virginia Beach and will carry the torch for a ceremonial handoff with Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office at the Wawa on Shore Drive.

To kick-off the region’s efforts, the Portsmouth Police Department will host a 1-mile walk through historic Olde Towne Portsmouth at 9 a.m. on June 5, starting at 1 Water Street.

On June 6 the run commences at the BJ’s/ Food Lion at 3712 Virginia Beach Boulevard at 7:30 a m., and extends 29.53 miles to the final destination at Isle of Wight county line at 12:45 p.m., on June 7.

Along the run, there will be various photo opportunities for the public, with the first one on June 6 at Hardee’s, 305 Dorset Avenue, at 8:05 a.m.; and the last on June 7 at the Wawa on Route 17 at 10:30 a.m., where the torch will be passed from Portsmouth Police Department to the Suffolk police and fire departments.

After a recent kick-off in Richmond, the Torch Run officially commences on June 1, when officers from 14 points across the Commonwealth carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hopemore than 1,900 miles across Virginia.

On June 8, Metro Richmond officers will run from the Capitol to University of Richmond’s Robins Stadium, where they’ll run the final mile on campus and join more than 1,500 athletes to officially open the Summer Games.

Fans are welcome to attend this free, fun, family-friend event.

For more details or to sign up, visit www.specialolympicsva.org.

Courtesy photo of runners and supporters in Virginia Beach.

In addition to carrying the Flame, event organizers also celebrating the fundraising efforts of the more than 2,000 officers involved in the Torch Run, which is sponsored by the SunTrust Foundation, Hardee’s/Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Publix and the Wawa Foundation, with additional support from Coca-Cola and Enterprise. Other sponsors include, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Sheriff’sAssociation, the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia Association of Regional Jails and the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

Since June 2017, they have raised more than $1.3 million for Special Olympics, pushing their overall fundraising total to more than $21 million since the Torch Run’s inception in Virginia in 1986.

For more information about the Hampton Roads Region 3 Torch Run route, pleasevisit www.torchrunva.com and click on the Routes button, under the Resources tab.

In addition, everyone is invited to cheer on the officers as they make their way through town.

For more information, contact Special Olympics Virginia Senior PR Director Holly Claytor at 804-370-7916 or hclaytor@specialolympicsva.org; or Regional Development Director Meghan Massie at 757-513-4981 or mmassie@specialolympicsva.org.

For more information on Special Olympics Virginia and its Summer Games, visit www.specialolympicsva.org.

Courtesy photo of runners making their way on Virginia Beach Boulevard, between Pembroke Mall and Town Center.

Courtesy photo of the Flame of Hope, along with Torch Run participants, making their way through Norfolk.

#LawEnforcementTorchRun #SpecialOlympicsVirginia

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