For the first time in five years, the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run made a stop Wednesday in Abilene.
Officers from El Paso to Arlington are taking turns, running about two miles at a time, to bring attention to a special group of people. That’s a 600-mile trip, but they said it’s worth every step.
"It’s been stressful. I’m not going to lie about it. We've been running from El Paso to this point in Abilene," El Paso Police Officer Saul Villalobos said.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run helps raise awareness and money for the Special Olympics. The run has raised $15 million for the Texas Special Olympics since it began in 1985. More than 200 law enforcement agencies participate.
Wednesday, officers with the torch run stopped at Red Bud Park to run with some Big Country athletes competing in this year's games.
Those with intellectual disabilities who are participating take the competition seriously.
"It’s been fun, but it's harder. You got to apply yourself and push yourself," said Seth Carter, an athlete in the Big Country region.
"It makes them feel a part of an organization, a sports organization at that. It just really gives them the opportunity to feel like they can do what anybody else can do," said Beth Bye, the Big Country area director for the Special Olympics Texas.
This year’s summer games start Thursday and run until Sunday in Arlington.