2014 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Vermont

By Christine Souders | csouders@nexstar.tv

Published 05/29 2014 07:27PM

Updated 05/29 2014 07:32PM

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT- Special Olympics Vermont is getting ready to host the 2014 Summer Games.

But first, the torches have to get to opening ceremonies.

The runners are considered the guardians of the flame, who will carry the torches to the opening ceremonies, signifying the beginning of the summer games.

"We bring it through Lyndon, St. Jay, over to Hardwick, Morristown, all the way over towards Burlington for the final leg," said Jason Harris, who is one of many volunteers passing the torch in this year's 2014 Law Enforcement Torch Run.

He supports the summer games not only by running, but as a partner and coach.

"It gives people the chance to achieve something that not everyone thinks they can, and show them hey we're good at this too," said Harris.

On the Northeast route, a torch traveled about 60 miles on Thursday from Derby to Hardwick. Then it's off to UVM on Friday for the opening ceremonies.

Harris, and others will be there the final leg, carrying the torch to UVM.

Runners said it's an honor to be part of it.

"This means a lot to us, being able to do our part to raise money for Special Olympics in anyway we can. It's a good benefit to support. We're happy to do it," said Lt. Michael Henry with Vermont State Police.

"Going so far and so long is a great feeling,"said Trooper Cassandra Herbes with Vermont State Police.

500 athletes and partners from 90 towns across the state are expected to compete in the 2014 Summer Games.

Athletes can qualify for nationals, or even higher.

"We have a really good chance to send some people to the national games and hopefully to the world to represent Vermont in the U.S.," Harris said.

Runners gave words of encouragement every step of the way.

"Athlete's go get them. Follow your dreams. You can do anything you want to do," said Trooper Herbes.

The Special Olympics officially kick off Friday with opening ceremonies at 7pm.

The 2014 Summer Games are Saturday through Sunday at the UVM Athletic Complex.

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