Law enforcement teams across the state began running their individual legs of the statewide run on Saturday, according to Wise County Sheriff’s Lt. Teresa Meade, and the Wise County-Norton-Coeburn team of 20 runners started their leg at 6:30 a.m. on Monday from Big Stone Gap along U.S. 23 to Norton and then along U.S. Route 58 to St. Paul.
The various running teams across the state use the run to raise awareness of the Special Olympics program and to raise donations and support for local, state and national Special Olympics programs, including the state Summer Games beginning on June 7 in Richmond.
Cool morning temperatures put the Wise County runners an hour ahead of their scheduled 10:30 a.m. stopover at Norton, and they met in Coeburn with Blakely Hopkins, Paula McCray and Sarah Lawson of the Special Needs Baseball League Angels. After several hugs between the three and the runners, the team moved on to complete the 40-mile route.
For more information on this year’s Torch Run and on Special Olympics, check the Special Olympics Virginia website.