High Point police run for a cause
High Point police will be leading the charge on Thursday as runners make their way down Main Street for a good cause.
The Flame of Hope will be carried through the city in what will be the final leg of the 2014 N.C. Special Olympics Torch Run.
The entire run stretches 2,000 miles across the state, with over 200 law enforcement agencies participating in the passing of the torch bound for Raleigh, its final destination, where it will light the cauldron and mark the official opening of the Special Olympics of North Carolina Summer Games.
High Point police participate in the run every year.
“For this event, we really want to get more runners involved,” said Lt. Lee Lanier of the High Point Police Department. “We figure the more runners we get, the more notice we get, and the more attention we can bring to this cause.”
Capt. Tony Hamrick, who is now retired, began the High Point Police Department’s involvement with the Special Olympics over 25 years ago, according to Lanier. And this year, about 18 officers are signed up for the event.
“It’s grown every year. Before we only had about four or five (runners), and since that time, we’ve started opening it up to family members, friends, the general public and anybody else that wants to run, so that’s really opened up,” Lanier said. “Now we have a few from High Point University who come out and run with us. We also have, I think, two Special Olympics athletes who will be running with us this year, and so we’re trying to get it to grow every year … and it seems to be.”
The torch will be carried 6.7 miles beginning in the parking lot of TC’s Deli located at 3023 S. Main St. and ending at the 3000 block of N. Main St.
The pace of the run will be slow, police say, and it's not just for experienced runners. Anyone can run. There also will be vans following the crowd, allowing runners who are unable to run the entire distance to hitch a ride to the finish line.
“People who want to start and run a couple blocks and then get in the van and ride the rest of the way can finish up with us at the very end. They can run as little or as much as they want to,” Lanier said.
At the end of the race, the torch will be extinguished and taken to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, where it will continue its journey in Greensboro on Friday.
The SONC Summer Games begin May 30 and will continue through June 1 with nearly 1,500 athletes from across the state competing in events that include aquatics, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball and volleyball.
The opening ceremony will be free and open to the public beginning at 7 p.m. on May 30 at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh.
• Runners will meet at the High Point Police Department between 8:15-8:45 a.m. to sign waivers and gear up with Special Olympics T-shirts.
• At 9:15 a.m., the group will assemble in front of TC’s Deli to begin the race at 9:30 a.m.
• Runners also can meet at the starting line.
• For those who want to participate but do not want to run, volunteers are needed to hand out water to runners.
• To participate call or email Lt. Lee Lanier at (336) 309-3165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The High Point Police Department has several fundraising events throughout the year for the Special Olympics:
• The first Polar Plunge held in February raised about $10,000.
• 2014 will be the department’s 14th year on the rooftop of Krispy Kreme, June 27-29, a weekend event that began in High Point and has grown nationwide among law enforcement agencies.
• Cops-on-shops at Chick-fil-A, a one-day event in September
• Tip-A-Cop, Tip-A-Firefighter challenge at the Peppermill Cafe, held in November