by Lisa Tome
Back when David Ellis started supporting Special Olympics by running with the torch, only a handful of police officers participated in the run along Route 1.
"I've done it since 1992, except for my years of (military) deployment," said Ellis. "Some run the whole length of it. I like to do at least half, five of the 10 miles." He also was scheduled for military reserve physical training on Tuesday.
He got permission to substitute the run for that. Ellis also brought his son, Hayden to do the run. The pair have run the event together since Hayden, who is now 16, was 10. "This supports a good cause and makes me feel good. It's a good excuse not to sit on the couch eating chips," said Hayden Ellis.
Now, dozens of Cecil Sheriff's Deputies, correctional officers from the Cecil County Detention Center, and family members are participating in the torch run which was held on Tuesday morning. The deputies joined with Maryland State Troopers to complete the stretch through the county along Route 40.
Before the run, David Leas was stretching. This was his first time participating. He had hoped to do five miles but actually completed the whole run. Dominic Fabrizio helped carry the torch last year. "It's a long run. You just have to pace yourself," said Fabrizio. He said he supports Special Olympics and also participated in the Ice Splash to benefit the organization. Will Muller is a new dad to twins. He was also new running with the torch. "All these guys encouraged me to do it. I've been working to get in shape. I'm going to run until I drop," said Muller.
Kristyn LaSassa was another first timer. "I want to do at least half. I am looking forward to finishing," she said. Sean Mahoney, a detective with the Cecil Sheriff's Office, coordinated the run. He said the key to getting the large number of participants involved in the event was reaching out. "It fell into my lap. It's a great cause because everyone is not as lucky as I am," said Mahoney, who is a father of two.
He said that planning for next year's run would start the day after last week's run ended. "We started talking about doing this three or four months ago. Coordinating it is a lengthy process," added Mahoney. "Having all of these law enforcement people participate, makes me hopeful. We are bringing awareness to this."