GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Right around 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon, a group of fourteen runners rounded the roundabout onto Ridge Street, flanked by an escort of police cars and motorcycles. The group finished a 15-mile run that had started in the early hours of the day, and they did it sweating and smiling – with one holding a torch aloft.
The runners departed at 7 a.m. Monday morning on the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a longtime tradition of Special Olympics New York, an event with close ties to the Glens Falls area. Every year, law enforcement groups around New York make the run to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics in New York. In this case, members of three law enforcement groups embarked on a run that took them through every town center in Warren County.
“I’m an old man, so it definitely catches up with me, but it was a wonderful day,” said Warren County Sheriff Jim LaFarr, representing the county department in the run. “We get cheers, and people shouting for us along the way. It’s really a special event.”
The route started at Warren County’s northern border with Essex County, traveling along Route 9. The runners moved through Pottersville, Chestertown, Warrensburg and Lake George before descending into Queensbury and ultimately Glens Falls. The Warren County Sheriff’s Department was joined by members of New York State Police and Warren County Corrections.
Joining the group in Glens Falls was Special Olympics athlete Max Jackowski, of Queensbury. Jackowski has played in New York for years, competing in bocce ball, softball, track and field, floor hockey and (his favorite) basketball. Jackowski carried the torch with the runners through the final leg of the day.
“It was fun,” Jackowski said. “It was good.”
The Special Olympics Summer Games start this coming weekend in Ithaca. The Flame of Hope torch will be carried through Washington County on Tuesday, and Albany County on Wednesday – with local law enforcement swapping in by the day. Statewide, the Law Enforcement Torch Run sees more than 6,200 annual participants, across 470 law enforcement agencies around New York.