Annual Torch Run Set for Next Week

OCEAN CITY- The eastern portion of the 28th annual Maryland Torch Run featuring law enforcement officers from all over the state will take place next Monday, June 3, with the first leg on the Ocean City Boardwalk followed by a second leg through downtown Berlin.

The statewide Torch Run Relay for the benefit of the Maryland Special Olympics Summer Games will include individual relay runs carrying the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” in different regions all over the state. The mission is to safely escort and protect the Flame of Hope as it makes its way toward the 43rd Annual Summer Games at Towson University on June 7-9.

This year marks the 28th anniversary of the very first Torch Run for the benefit of the Special Olympics. The movement began in 1986 with a handful of participating law enforcement officers raising $5,000. It has grown into a year-round effort that now involves thousands of officers and sponsors and raised over $3 million in 2012. Since its inception, the Torch Run has taken very seriously the role of “Guardians of the Flame” and the relay is an important and celebrated part of every Special Olympics competition.

The Ocean City-Worcester County leg takes place next Monday, June 3 at 27th Street and the Boardwalk. Pre-event ceremonies will start at 8 a.m. and the Torch Run Relay will start at 8:30 a.m. The run starts at 27th Street and heads south along the Boardwalk to its conclusion at North Division Street. After the Ocean City leg, participants will board a bus to Berlin for the second leg of the local portion of the Torch Run.

At 10 a.m., participants will meet at Worcester Prep for a pre-run pep rally and the second leg of the local race will be run through downtown Berlin to its conclusion at the Berlin Fire Department. The local portion of the race part of a larger statewide relay that includes legs in the eastern, western, southern and central parts of Maryland throughout the week.

Thousands of Torch Run participants will cover hundreds of miles before eventually converging in Towson where the individual flames will be united in the final leg ceremony.

Law enforcement officers will travel the final 2.5 miles to Towson University where the torch will be passed to Special Olympics athletes, who will have the honor of taking the final lap with the torch and lighting the cauldron to signal the opening of the 2013 Special Olympics of Maryland Summer Games.