DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Residents in some metro Detroit communities may want to plan extra commute time Friday as the Law Enforcement Torch Run wraps up its annual relay race.
The 750-mile, five-day non-stop relay run raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics Michigan athletes. Runners are escorted by local law enforcement, and followed by a trail vehicle with lights and sirens to help keep the runners safe.
“We ask that drivers be patient and honk or cheer on the runners to show support,” organizers said in a press release.
They are running to raise money for children and adults with intellectual disabilities who take part in Special Olympics Michigan programs.
“We thank you in advance for your patience and your continued support throughout the year,” said Ken Bennett, Director of Michigan Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Friday morning, the runners will be moving along eastbound M-59. They will reach the western edge of Oakland County at about 6:28 a.m. on Friday. They will continue along M-59 until they turn south onto Telegraph Road near Pontiac at about 9:14 a.m. They will turn east on 6 Mile Road.
They will turn southeast on Grand River Avenue and continue on Grand River near the Masonic Temple at about 1:20 p.m. They will take Grand River into Detroit and head out on Jefferson to Metro Beach Parkway at about 3 p.m. They will turn north onto Mound Road and end at the Sterling Heights Fraternal Order of Police at about 6 p.m.
The relay run began at noon Monday in Copper Harbor in the tip of the Upper Peninsula and ends Friday between 6 and 6:30 p.m. at the Sterling Heights Fraternal Order of Police
For most of the stretch, one runner is running at a time, at a pace of about eight minutes a mile. The police escort vehicle in front of the runner and a trail vehicle behind the runner will be moving at about eight miles per hour. The runners will mostly utilize the right lane.
“It is not always easy since this is a non-stop relay and some of the runners are pounding the pavement in the middle of the night or early morning hours,” a press release said.
And this is only a small part of the runners’ duties. They work all year round, raising funds to take part in the event.
Special Olympics Michigan provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for 19,620 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes build physical fitness, develop self-confidence and prepare for participation in society. SOMI is a non-profit organization supported almost entirely by corporate and individual gifts, without support of state funds.