Law enforcement agencies run from the Coast to the Capital for Special Olympics

VIDEO: Law enforcement agencies run from the Coast to the Capital for Special Olympics
Group of runners for the Torch Run (Source: Live 5)
Group of runners for the Torch Run (Source: Live 5)

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Law enforcement officers from the Lowcountry continue to run through the different counties on their way to Columbia.

It's part of the annual Coast to the Capital Torch Run supporting the South Carolina Special Olympics.

Members of several area law enforcement agencies gathered with Special Olympians ahead of their 127-mile run from the Coast to the Capital.

"It is growing exponentially every year," said Deputy Chief Stan Greg, with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department. "We added two new agencies Summerville came on this year and Dorchester County came on this year."

The run started at the beach on Sullivan's Island where everyone gathered for the opening ceremony.

Terry Hamlin, a local running enthusiast and activist, donated $1,000 to the group to give to the Special Olympics.

"We're giving back to our community," Greg said. "This is our partner. Special Olympics athletes are true athletes. We are committed as partners with our community to give back."

"It's so amazing," said Kylie MacFarland, a Special Olympian. "I love it when people like the cops or firefighters help us out and take care of us."

Dan Borst was named the honorary torch carrier, which was a new experience for him.

"I've never done it before," he said.

The Olympians were surrounded by several volunteers who have worked with the group for several decades.

"I fell in love with it," said Ashton Johnson, a volunteer. "The passion and inspiration just comes full circle. They inspire me and I inspire them it's just great teamwork."

The runners will trek across the Ravenel bridge and up through the neck of the Charleston peninsula up to Goose Creek.

Greg said they'll then hop on Highway 176 which will take them all the way to Columbia.

They plan to run all night.

The South Carolina Summer Olympic games will run May 6-8 at Fort Jackson in Columbia. 1,300 athletes, 200 coaches and more than 800 volunteers are expected to attend.

Agencies from around the state are expected to arrive in the capital around 6:00 Friday morning.

In 2014 there were more than 94,000 competitions held around the world for the Special Olympics. More than 4.5 million athletes competed worldwide.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.