Participants and supporters of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC gathered in front of the Langley RCMP detachment for a group photo.

Langley Special Olympians run for inclusion

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics BC went through Murrayville on Tuesday.

Chris Lakusta is a competitive runner, so taking part in Tuesday afternoon’s Langley leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics BC was a natural for the 27-year-old.

From May 31 to June 3, law enforcement runners and Special Olympics athletes will take to the streets with a message of respect and inclusion as they lace up in communities around the Lower Mainland for the 2016 BC LETR in support of Special Olympics BC.

The LETR is a global movement that raises vital funds and awareness for Special Olympics.

Since 1990, the BC LETR have been dedicated supporters of SOBC with LETR members around the province leading a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, raising more than $3 million to date. The Torch Run is the highlight of the calendar.

On top of being a Special Olympics BC Langley athlete, Chris is also a photographer, so he was doing double duty for the Langley run on May 31.

“I do track and field, basketball, and soccer,” Chris said at the Langley RCMP detachment, where the torch run began and ended.

So why did he first get involved in Special Olympics two years ago?

“Tell you the truth, I thought it was a lot of fun, and I know a lot of people in this [Special Olympics BC Langley] organization, so why not connect with other people who are sort of my own kind?”

He was up for the challenge for a roughly 3.5 kilometre run.

“I am doing a five ‘k’ run in my regional qualifier for track and field in a few weeks,” Chris said.

(Read more below)

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese and Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer along with City Councillor Gayle Martin were among those who sent the runners off.

“Thanks so much to the law enforcement personnel who are here today, and to those around the world, who dedicate their time and energy to supporting Special Olympics athletes through this fantastic initiative,” Schaffer said.

“I think sometimes we all get busy and we just go about our day-to-day lives and get things done,” he added. “But it takes a special kind of person to find the time within the ‘rat race’ to do something selfless, something intended purely to make another person’s life more rewarding.”

Langley Special Olympics athletes involved in Tuesday’s run were Chris Lakusta, Christine Magnusson, Nicole Vandevelde, Josh and Jacob Low, and Andrea Zonneveld.

The BC LETR visited Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey, and White Rock on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, it’s in Burnaby, Vancouver, and North Vancouver/West Vancouver.

On day three, Thursday, June 2 the torch run is in Mission, Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, and Port Moody/Coquitlam.

Day four, Friday, June 3 sees it in New Westminster, Richmond, and Delta/Ladner.

For more on the run, click here.

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