Local officers participate in virtual torch run for Special Olympics

‘It’s just to spread the awareness of inclusion for all people’

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The annual state Special Olympics games are not happening this year because of the coronavirus, but that’s not stopping some local law enforcement officers from helping keep one of the event’s traditions alive.

Each year, local law enforcement officers run the ceremonial torch across the state to kick off the games.

Even with the event canceled, several officers still completed part of the run in Christiansburg on Tuesday. The officers all had slightly different reasons for doing so, but the common theme is that they want to raise awareness, and ultimately money, for Special Olympics.

“It’s just to spread the awareness of inclusion for all people," said Moe McClanahan, Christiansburg Police Department investigator.

This year’s run is virtual, meaning people are encouraged to run on their own or in small groups.

On Tuesday, two Christiansburg police investigators, a DMV employee and a Special Olympics athlete ran about two miles from Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg to the Hardee’s downtown.

“I run because it’s healthy; it’s fun," said Special Olympics athlete Erica Bookout.

The investigator and DMV employee are running two miles a day for five days. Tuesday was day two.