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Hundreds run for 'a special cause' (16 photos)

'It was a great event, and the weather was spectacular this year,' says organizer of event that raised $55,000 for Special Olympics athletes

The weather couldn’t have been any better for this year’s annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Ontario.

The torch run, which is in its 35th year, raises awareness and funds for Special Olympics Ontario, a group "dedicated to enriching the lives of Ontarians with an intellectual disability through sport."

“I thank you all for coming out today to such a special cause. We have raised $55,000 so far, and that total isn’t done…” said Thomas Carrique, Commissioner of the OPP.

Today’s run, which started at OPP General Headquarters (GHQ) on Memorial Avenue, featured about 500 runners, both in person and virtual. This is the first time the race has been in person since becoming a virtual event during the pandemic.

There was a 5km and a 10km run all around Orillia and the OPP Headquarters area.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the horn sounded and all the runners took off from the start line at GHQ and finished at the Provincial Police Academy, right across the road from Headquarters.

The run started out with the torch being brought in by an OPP cruiser, before transferring to the hands of Carrique and Orillia's Stephen Graham, one of the most decorated Special Olympics athletes in the country.

Over a period of two hours, runners from both categories trickled in, all while being cheered on by fellow runners and the crowd. After crossing the finish line, they received medals and food.

There were runners in all age groups and even some pets joined in on the run.

“It was a great event, and the weather was spectacular this year, considering in past years, its poured rain,” said one of the event organizers.

If you would like to donate, or get involved in next year’s Law Enforcement Run, visit for all information.

For a full list of today’s runner results, click here.


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