For Jason Cotner of the Redwood Falls Police Department, getting involved with the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run was an easy decision.
After all, he had participated in the event as an officer in Owatonna, and believes this is one way he can help an organization which is doing good things for people in the community.
This is the first year the local police department has gotten involved with the Special Olympics fundraiser as the host for the run, which is being held this coming Saturday in Redwood Falls.
According to Cotner, the 5K Run/Walk is scheduled to start at the Redwood County Museum, with a route that allows the public to run through a portion of scenic Ramsey Park.
Cotner said he was approached by representatives of the Special Olympics about the idea of doing a torch run, a chance meeting, he said, actually started the day before with another individual who was looking to coordinate a different kind of race in the Redwood area.
“Matt Lenning started talking talk about doing an ad-venture race,” said Cotner. “The very next day I was contacted by Special Olympics.”
The planned event in Redwood Falls is going to include a traditional run, explained Cotner, adding one does not actually have to run the route to take part.
Added to that is the adventure portion of the race being held at the same time.
According to Len-ning the adventure race idea is growing in popularity, but there are not that many being held in the region.
The adventure race includes challenges beyond running, and Lenning said that could include things such as push-ups or jumping rope. This particular adventure race is also going to include an obstacle course on Middle Street, which Lenning said is going to have participants doing everything from jumping over bales to crawling through pipes.
Lenning said he liked the idea of coordinating the adventure race with the torch run.
“Special Olympics is such a great organization,” he said.
According to Nancy Revier, who works with the Special Olympics in the Redwood area, the funds raised during the torch run are going to be used to enhance what is offered to the Special Olympics athletes in the community.
She said the organization raises its own funding to provide transportation for the athletes when they go to compete across the state. She said there are typically 30-40 who go to each event.
She expressed her appreciation to those who have been helping to make this event happen in Redwood Falls.
Molly Swanson, who works for the Special Olympics in Minnesota, said there are more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes in Minnesota, adding the torch run is a great way for the community to get together and create new relationships.
Page 2 of 2 - Registrations are being accepted online at www.redwoodfalls-5k.kintera.org through Friday, with walk-up registration starting at the museum at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The cost to take part in the race is $25 for the 5K runners and $35 for those who plan to take part in the adventure race. The race is set to start at 9 a.m. for adventure participants and 9:20 a.m. for runners.
“We’re excited for this event,” said Revier.
All are invited to take part or just to come and cheer for the runners.