If you saw a group of police officers and community members running alongside US-2 in Iron Mountain Tuesday afternoon, you weren't just seeing things.
It was the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. The construction cones, logging trucks, and traffic were only some of the obstacles runners in the Torch Run had to overcome to finish the two-mile run from the Michigan State Police post in Iron Mountain to the Iron Mountain Police Station.
â??It used to be in Iron Mountain years ago, it kind of went to the wayside, so we're bringing it back; it's our first year back,â?? said Torch Run member, Carla White.
It's not every day law enforcement can be seen running on the highway in civilian clothing, but on Tuesday, they and other community members were running to raise money for the Special Olympics.
â??We actually have a central route; it's 750 miles,â?? White said. â??It goes from Copper Harbor to Sterling Heights. Itâ??s a 24 hour non-stop relay; somebody on the road 24 hours a day. They should be, right now, in Munising. The kids with special needs who ran said the experience was one-of-a-kind.
â??I could see everyone walking ahead of me, and I can't believe I made it this far,â?? said runner Christopher Miller. â??Itâ??s fun; it was so exciting, it was lots of fun, and it was kind of interesting,â?? said participant Jessica Miller.
And Isaac Berryhill was the first of the runners to make it to the station. â??It was hard. It was tiring, heart was starting to hurt, but I pushed myself though it and I got through the day,â?? said Berryhill. And what was it like for them to run alongside police officers? â??Well, that's a good question. It was fun, I felt like I was in the squad, like in the military in a way.â??
The run even had some of them thinking about future careers. â??I was planning to be a cop, actually a state policeman; I was going to join the force,â?? Berryhill said. Runners were welcomed by family members and refreshments as an end to the fulfilling event. â??I love running and walking because it's good for the heart,â?? Christopher Miller said. Good for the heart, in more ways than one.
If you're interested in donating to the Law Enforcement Torch Run organization to help Special Olympics, visit their website here.