The End is Here

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The last stop of our journey took us to Detroit, where for our last 5-mile leg, the Detroit Police Department treated us to an unbelievable escort.  We are all tired and sore, but running through the city and hearing the encouraging cheers from the many onlookers was just what we needed to finish strong. Every person on the MSP Torch Run Team did each of their 5-mile legs (some more), something we are very proud of accomplishing.  We are also thankful that we all stayed healthy for the week.

Speaking of strong, Tpr. Jim Yeager was able to complete his goal of 100 miles! We are so proud of you, Trooper Yeager.

After we get cleaned up and fatigue the motor home, we will head to the Sterling Heights Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Hall for dinner and the closing of  this year’s Michigan Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

But we’re not finished.

The MSP will be continuing its efforts for the Special Olympics with events like the Capital Area Dodgeball Tournament, polar plunges and Outback Steakhouse dinners. Be sure to watch our Facebook page for the next upcoming event.

We would like to thank all of the communities we ran through for their generous support and encouragement along the way. Seeing everyone come together with law enforcement for this special cause was a very rewarding and fulfilling experience that we will never forget.

We also want to thank our families and work sites. They have sacrificed a lot for the team members to be able to participate, and this does not go unnoticed.

We can’t thank everyone enough for their support. Thank you! See you next year!!!

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The Midnight Run

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As we concluded our run into Mt. Pleasant Thursday afternoon, the team immediately began looking forward to the seventh leg of “run week” into Lansing.  This was the Midnight Run from the Michigan State Capitol to East Lansing, probably the biggest highlight of the week.  It always keeps us motivated to finish strong.

We were joined at the State Capitol by the recruits and staff of the 123rd Trooper Recruit School, their family and friends, police recruits from Lansing Community College, and many other members of our agency.  There were 162 total runners that joined us at this event.  Thank you so much to everyone who participated! And a special thanks goes out to the Michigan State Police’s Human Resources Division.   They lined the streets of Lansing with “Go MSP” signs and were very enthusiastic as we ran by.  You guys are great!!!

The 123rd Trooper Recruit School purchased more than $2,000 worth of Torch Run T-shirts.  We appreciate the support they displayed, and it is our hope that as they begin their careers, they too will begin to understand the importance of events such as this.

Last night during our 30-mile leg, F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney took it upon himself to run all 6 of the 5-mile legs.  This is the first time in Torch Run history that a runner has completed 30 straight miles.  Congrats!!!

Tpr. Jim Yeager set a goal this week to complete 100 miles.  Currently, he is 15 miles shy, so we will see how the rest of the day goes. Good luck!!!

The final leg begins this morning through the streets of Detroit. The Detroit Police Department’s Motor Units do a phenomenal job at protecting all of the runners as we navigate our way through the city.

As we run through Detroit today, all runners will be wearing black arm bands in honor of fallen West Bloomfield Township Police Officer Patrick O’Rourke.  We shall never forget the sacrifces made by all of our fallen comrades.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

The Best Day Yet

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This is the best day yet!

It’s Thursday — and the team is beginning to feel all of the miles and lack of sleep.  Despite this, we are having an amazing experience and everyone remains in great spirits.  Last night, we were treated like kings and queens by the owner of the Super 8 Motel in Grayling, Robert Fick.  Mr. Fick gave us complimentary rooms, filled our motor home up with gas, fed us breakfast, and left us with a sizable donation upon our departure.  Thank you, Mr. Fick!

After departing Graying, we headed toward Harrison and spent some time at the Clare-Gladwin School, handing out T-shirts and meeting several wonderful athletes.  All team members continue to be inspired by the love and support the athletes show to all of us.  The Special Olympics is truly “law enforcement’s cause,” and this week is an excellent reminder of that.

From Harrison, we’re heading toward Mt. Pleasant to grab some lunch, do some laundry, and, if we’re lucky, a short nap.  Our evening run will lead us to the Michigan State Capitol for probably the biggest highlight of the trip, “The Midnight Capitol Run.”  This run will have approximately 200 runners — and we will be joined by the recruits and staff of the 123rd Trooper Recruit School.

It will be a long day; however, we are resolved to finish strong!

Over the Bridge to the Magnificent Mitten

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All three run Torch Run teams met  in St. Ignace for the traditional run across the Mackinac Bridge.  One runner from each team is selected for this beautiful run.  This year, Tpr. Jim Yeager was chosen from the MSP Torch Run team to run with a member of the MDOC and FOP teams, along with Special Olympics athlete Joe Kaczynski.  The run went great and Trooper Yeager represented our team well!

After the run was complete, we posed for a few snapshots, ate lunch in Mackinac City and then took a brief nap.  We are currently pushing on toward Wolverine, where we begin our leg this evening.  The weather has been very cooperative and we are in good spirits as we cross the halfway point of “run week.”  We will conclude our leg tonight at approximately 2 a.m. and then head toward Harrison tomorrow morning.

We continue to raise money along the way with T-shirt and raffle ticket sales.  Everywhere we go, we receive a tremendous amount of support.  Thank you for cheering us on and helping us in this great cause!

Forging On

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It’s our third day — and we’re forging on.

After completing our Tuesday night run through McMillan, we drove to Sault Ste. Marie and got a few hours of sleep.  We awoke to the smells of a wonderful breakfast that was cooked by post secretary Cammi Yeck and Community Service Trooper Ailene Bitnar at the Sault Ste. Marie Post.  They also cooked breakfast for the Fraternal Order of Police and Michigan Department of Corrections Torch Run teams, along with the volunteers in trail vehicles. We greatly appreciate it.

We quickly ate and then headed toward Rudyard to spent some time at a special needs school, where we handed out T-shirts and got to know some of the students.  As we ran into the school, we were met by several Special Olympics athletes who greeted us with hugs and smiles.  Their enthusiasm keeps us motivated — and this is truly a highlight of the trip.

All of the runners remain strong as we head toward St. Ignace.  The next highlight of the trip is the run across Mackinac Bridge.  For this run, a Special Olympics athlete is chosen to run across the bridge with a member of each run team.  We will have some great pics to post this afternoon as this run approaches. Stay tuned!

We are in full swing…

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We are in full swing…

After a few hours of sleep last night, we ran through Marquette this morning and had beautiful weather.  So far, everyone has remained injury-free and all of the runners look strong.  For our first run of the day, we were joined by Capt. John Halpin, commander of the 8th District.  He joined Sgt. Gerald Badgett for the first leg of the day.  Other than the Lansing midnight run, this is the first time in Torch Run history where a district commander has joined the team for a five mile leg.  We appreciate the gesture!!!

In the middle of our Marquette leg, we made a stop to meet up with several Special Olympics athletes.  We passed out T-shirts, teddy bears and posed for a few good pictures.  This makes our day because we truly get the chance to see how this event impacts their lives.

Once we finish up, we’re heading into Munising for lunch, laundry, and a short nap before we pick back up for our evening leg.

Finally, The Run Begins

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The journey to Copper Harbor — our starting point — is complete.

After meeting up with the other two run teams and having dinner, we made a short drive to Brockway Mountain, where we had a nice team photo at sunset. The next morning and a hearty breakfast later, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Torch Run team began their first leg of the run.

It was at this time that we hit the streets of Copper Harbor and started selling Torch Run T-shirts and raffle tickets. The generous business owners of Copper Harbor donated close to $1,000 in the way of T-shirt and raffle ticket sales.

Houghton County was our next stop, where the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office treated all of the run teams to a wonderful pizza and spaghetti dinner. We were unable to eat because of our impending run; however, it was a very nice gesture by the deputies.

We headed to Chassell after a light dinner — and  Sgt. Gerald Badgett began our first leg of the run. Each team member runs for five miles a turn, totaling 30 miles per leg per six-member Torch Run team.  It felt great to get underway and the weather was on our side. Last year at this time, we ran during a torrential downpour, so we were thankful for the clear skies.

We will finish tonight’s run at approximately 1 a.m. and then head to Marquette, picking right back up where we left off in the morning. The forecast looks good, so we are hoping to get a few hours of sleep.

We’re going to hit the pavement strong in the morning.


Michigan State Police

For more information about the Michigan State Police, please visit www.michigan.gov/msp.

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