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The talk this week — and fun talk it is — has been about Saturday’s upcoming Rain Boot Race for a Guinness World Record (see the Page 1 story if you don’t know about it yet).
That’s not the only run in Ketchikan Saturday. The other, a few hours earlier, on Saturday morning, is the largest simultaneous run in the state, beginning at 10 a.m. in 10 communities across Alaska. It’s the Torch Run for Alaska Law Enforcement and Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Alaska President and CEO Jim Balamaci in Anchorage says the support by law enforcement has been “huge” for the program for those with intellectual disabilities. “It’s just an incredible partnership on a global, national and community level,” he says, and makes a huge difference. Statewide, the torch run raises close to $100,000. The law enforcement personnel are “the guardians of the flame.”
In Ketchikan, traditionally, a few dozen people participate on behalf of Special Olympics and law enforcement. One regular is City of Ketchikan Deputy Police Chief Josh Dossett, who has been taking part in the torch run for close to 20 years.
There really is a torch, by the way, and it rotates among the participating runners “because it can be kind of heavy,” Dossett says. In addition to Special Olympics athletes and their families, officers from Alaska State Troopers, Ketchikan Police Department and the Ketchikan Correctional Center and their families run, too.
Runners will be leaving, as always, from The Plaza mall Saturday at 10 a.m., running to the Federal Building downtown and returning to the mall. Like most Ketchikan events, the 5K Torch run happens rain or shine. Give them a wave and your thanks if you see them Saturday; join in if you can. Use it as a warm-up for the Rain Boot Race!