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Torch run kicks off summer Special Olympics for Hastings

The law enforcement torch run was held last week. It came through Hastings on Tuesday.

Last Tuesday evening, about 40 runners jogged from Pinecrest Elementary School to Roadside Park, accompanied by law enforcement officers and following a metal torch. It was the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the largest grassroots fundraising and public awareness vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Worldwide. Its mission is to raise funds for, and awareness of, the Special Olympics movement worldwide.

The torch run is a running and bicycling event in which law enforcement officers carry the torch through Minnesota communities en route to the summer Minnesota Special Olympics. This year, the summer games were held June 20 to 22 in Stillwater.

The Hastings event saw the torch, the “Flame of Hope,” ride into town early Tuesday evening. At Pinecrest, it was handed off to the Hastings Special Olympics team, the Hastings Sharks. Sharks athletes were joined by local members of Moms on the Run for the short leg from Pinecrest to Roadside Park, by way of Highway 55. They were led by a Hastings Police Reserve squad car with its lights flashing as they ran down the trail and into the park.

Law enforcement personnel from several agencies attended the event. Sheriff’s deputies and police officers from Rochester, Olmsted County, Goodhue County and Hastings participated.

Following the run, athletes were provided water and snacks.