Officers and athletes pounded the pavement during the BC Law Enforcement Torch Run on Thursday in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
Despite the rain, a group of runners left McMyn Road with Special Olympics athlete Pat Johnson, torch in hand, and ran to the City's Spirit Square.
Johnson, a track and field Special Olympian, has racked up six medals at the Special Olympic Games and ran all four days of the Torch Run. Thursday was the second-to-last day of the run, which went from June 5 to 8 and through nearly 30 communities across B.C. This was Johnson's second year doing all four days.
"Pat is one of our stars," said Rick Lucy, deputy chief of the Abbotsford Police Department and provincial director of the Torch Run.
In Maple Ridge about a dozen Special Olympics athletes took part in the run, along with a dozen officers, and were led to the finish line at the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment by eight-year-old Jacob Russell.
Jacob was sporting a bloody knee as he had fallen at the beginning of the run and skinned it, but that didn't stop him.
Jacob, who suffers from Tourette's syndrome and seizures, is a member of the Special Olympics track and field team in Maple Ridge.
"We had a good turnout today, nearly the whole track team is here, and everyone is all smiles, even in the rain," said Jacob's mom Tammy Russell.
In fact, Lucy said he believes it was the largest turnout of athletes yet.
A fundraising barbecue was held in the detachment's courtyard after the run.
"[The Torch Run] is a great experience. There is excellent representation from the athletes. This speaks volumes about what strong community spirit we have," said Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh.
Since 1990, the run has raised awareness and funds for Special Olympics BC athletes and programs.
Worldwide, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which started in 1981, is now the largest fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the Special Olympics movement.
The run now involves more than 85,000 officers in 35 countries, while raising around $40 annually million dollars for Special Olympics.
In 55 communities around the province, Special Olympics BC provides year-round training and competitive opportunities in 18 different sports to more than 3,900 athletes of all ages and abilities, thanks to the dedicated efforts of more than 2,900 volunteers. For information visit www.specialolympics.bc.ca.