The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the largest grassroots fundraising program which benefits Special Olympics. It began in 1981 when Chief Richard LaMunyon, of the Wichita, Kansas Police Department saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. Chief LaMunyon conceived the idea of the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement with their communities and Special Olympics, by running the torch in intrastate relays that converge at their local summer games. Today the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is a global event which is participated in all 50 of the Unites States and in 47 countries across the globe. Annually the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics generates over $34,000,000 for these athletes and is the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics.
The 2013 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics will be ran on Tuesday May 21, 2013. This years run will be broken down into three segments throughout Sebastian County. The torch will leave the Greenwood Police Department at Greenwood Police Department, at 30 Bell Road, promptly at 7:15 AM that morning. The runners will leave the police department parking lot and will run west along Highway 10 Spur (West Center Street) to the State Parking lot on Highway 71. Once the torch reaches Highway 71 and 10 Spur it will be driven to the Jam Mart located at Highway 71 and Cavanaugh Roads in Fort Smith where the torch will be passed onto the Sebastian County Sheriffs Office. At promptly 8:15 AM the torch will leave the intersection and travel down Highway 71 to Zero Street where it will continue west onto Towson Avenue and ultimately turn onto South B Street where it will be handed off to runners at the Fort Smith Police Department. At promptly 9:30 AM the torch will leave the Fort Smith Police Department and will travel west down South B Street to Wheeler Avenue where it will turn north on Wheeler and continue onto South 6th Street making a East turn onto Garrison Avenue. The torch will continue on Garrison turning back north on North 11th Street where it will continue onto Midland Avenue ultimately crossing the Midland Bridge at which point it will be handed off to members of the Van Buren Police Department. Ultimately the torch will end up in Clarksville around 4:30 PM where it will be ran the following morning to Little Rock. On Friday May 23rd the torch will run it’s final leg from Little Rock to Harding University in Searcy where it will be handed off to a Special Olympics Athlete who will light the main flame at the 50 yard line of the stadium of the university which will signify the start of the 2013 Arkansas Special Olympics Summer Games! The Arkansas Summer Games officially began on Saturday May 24th. At each segment the torch will be handed off from one law enforcement agency to the next. The torch is ran across the entire State of Arkansas and is broken down into 21 legs across the state.
The Greenwood portion of the run is a little less than a 5K at 3.5 miles and generally is ran at about a “Fun Run” 12 MPH pace. The run will be led by local Police Officers with the Greenwood Police Department and anyone in the community who wants to run can participate. The only requirement to run is that runners must complete an entry form and must have a Special Olympics Torch Run shirt for 2013 to be eligible to run. The shirts are $15 and can be picked up the morning of the run at the prospective start locations. During the run there will be a RV behind the runners for anyone who needs a break from the run or has reached their individual limit. The RV will stop at the end of the segment and let runners out where they will be able to get a ride back to GWPD which will be provided by Greenwood First Baptist Church. There will be light refreshments (fruit, etc) being served the morning of the race starting at about 6:45 at the Greenwood Police Department. Water and Gatorade will also be provided for runners along the run and after the run free of charge. Entry forms can be picked up and returned at the Greenwood Police Department Monday-Friday from 8AM-5PM. Forms will also be available at the Sebastian County Sheriffs Office and Fort Smith Police Departments during normal business hours. We ask that runners have their forms completed and returned to the respective agencies no later than 5 PM on Wednesday May 15th so we will ensure we have enough shirts for the runners. Each agency will have extra shirts on hand for last minute entries. We also ask that runners wait until the morning of the race to pay the entry fee so we can limit the locations for collection. This will ultimately make the whole process easier.
We look forward to have the largest turnout of runners in Sebastian County history this year and we ask everyone that can participate to please do so. Donations will also be accepted the morning of the run and shirts for non-runners can be purchased for $20 each. This year there are two separate shirts with the runners (only) receiving a moisture wicking shirt and non runners receiving a cotton shirt. Both shirts have different designs for this year.