NORRIDGEWALK — Members of local law enforcement, including Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols, relayed a torch Thursday morning from Farmington to Skowhegan for Special Olympics.

The event kicked off May 26 on the grounds of the State House, where about 30 runners participated. There were about 100 people in attendance including cheerleaders, Special Olympians and Gov. Paul LePage.

The annual run came to Maine via Bridgton Police Chief Robert Bell in 1985.

The run involves about 700 runners covering 900 miles across the state, concluding with the opening ceremonies Friday of the Special Olympics Maine Summer Games in Orono.

A police escort preceded the runners on U.S. Route 2, followed by an emergency vehicle that also served as a place for the fatigued to stop and get water as they traversed hills, fields, construction zones and occasional former woodland creatures.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, another police escort rolled through Waterville as another stretch of the torch relay got underway.

Each year, runners raise money by pledging, holding tip-a-cop events at local restaurants, bake sales, car washes, sports events, raffles and whatever they can think of to bring in dollars for Special Olympics. Along the route, miles were sponsored by local businesses marked by signs.

Douglas McIntire — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @CD_McIntire