Special Olympic BC-Trail athlete Jake Miller literally heads the line up for the 2021 virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR).
A photo of Jake with the now iconic torch is used as part of the banner atop the Special Olympics LETR page.
The annual event kicked off this week, running from June 7 to June 20.
Despite COVID, Miller is an avid participant in BC Special Olympic events, and has been training all year through the online SOBC virtual health and fitness program.
Jake’s mom says he is geared up and ready to go for another torch run.
“They are doing it virtual again, so you go online and register with LETR, and there’s an App on your phone called Strava, and that keeps track of all your footsteps or running distance,” explained mom and coach, Rhonda Chandler. “It’s for the whole week and all their proceeds go to Special Olympics.”
Miller along with several other Trail SOBC athletes recently competed in the virtual Special Olympics BC Challenge Games, and is now preparing to log daily kilometres along with their law enforcement partners to reach this year’s challenge.
“Inspired by all the athletes who have accepted the challenge of competing in the first-ever SOBC Provincial Challenge Games, the 2021 Virtual Torch Run challenges participants to raise $75,000 in order to beat last year’s fundraising total of more than $66,000,” says BC Special Olympics.
This year’s event challenges runners to log a combined 40,000-kilometres, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the global Law Enforcement Torch Run movement.
Started in 1981 in Wichita, Kansas, the global Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $900 million for Special Olympics programs around the world.
Registered participants can also win prizes as they raise funds and log kilometres with the virtual Torch Run for SOBC.
Jake participated in the first “virtual” torch run last year due to COVID, and as restrictions begin to loosen, is looking forward to this year’s challenge and eventual return to in-person sport.
“It’s a great event,” said Jake. “I’ve been working hard every day, and it’s been fun doing all the workouts.”
A multi-sport athlete, Miller has competed in floor hockey, snow-shoeing, golf, bocce, and bowling at regional, provincial and national Special Olympic Games across the country.
He has missed in-person games and competitions and socializing with friends from SOBC-Trail, but found a silver lining through the online portal that has kept SOBC athletes engaged over the past year.
To support Jake and Special Olympics BC-Trail go to www.specialolympics.ca/british-columbia/ways-give/law-enforcement-torch-run, pledge your participant, and donate. All funds go to support Special Olympics.
SOBC-Trail serves the Greater Trail area including Rossland, Montrose, and Fruitvale.