Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
Traditionally Ben, the special needs son to an employee, and our unofficial bureau mascot, leads off on the torch run for our leg. He runs with the torch for a few minutes, passes it off, gets in the car and drives to the finish line where he runs the torch the last 100 yards across the finish line. Except for the change in our mode of transportation everything was just like last year, and the years before that.
Here is a schedule of how it all went down.
1:45 Gathered at 15th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, put on our t-shirts, got out the bikes, put on our helmets, and waited for the torch to arrive.
2:00 - Ethan walked up to a group of runners and yelled for everybody to "come here" for a cheer.
2:02 - After EVERYBODY gathered as he requested, they put both hands into the circle and on 3 Ethan led them in a cheer; "Let's Go!"
2:25 - Torch arrived and off we went on our leg of the run with Ben leading the way with the torch.
2:25 1/2 - Ethan arrived at his over stimulated best and started yelling at me because we weren't beating everybody.
2:30 - Passed a few runners. Got a little more frustrated . . . Yelled out "Yellow Car!" (It's like Slug Bug, where you try to spot Volkswagen Beetles, but minus the hitting. We call out any yellow colored cars that you see)
2:32 - People along the route were giving us thumbs-up and honking their car horns in support.
2:35 - Still passing runners, even more frustrated . . .
2:36 - Two cute female police officers asked Ethan for a ride on his bike. He replied, "Hah, I'm beating you! Yellow Car!"
2:40 - Started crying because we still weren't going fast enough. Threatened to tickle my butt if we didn't go faster! "Yellow Car!" Couldn't stand it any longer and passed a few more people to get closer to the front.
2:45 - Ethan got passed the torch, held it high, called for everybody to "look at me!"
2:46 - Totally done holding the torch. Passed it off to somebody, I think they were in our group . . . Ethan demanded that we go faster, "Yellow Car!"
2:47 - Increasingly more over stimulated . . . Said the S-word because we weren't winning, then quickly apologized and asked me to "kill everybody. Yellow Car!" Oh, by the way, we were leading the group, however, the motorcycle officers who were doing traffic control were in front of us. Apparently they weren't supposed to beat us either.
3:00 - Riding in the front of the group. Still not fast enough, those darn motorcycle officers wouldn't "get outta here! Yellow Car!"
3:15 - Arrived at the finish area, and made a quick right turn to avoid going through the finish line ribbon Ben's parents had set up for him when he arrived holding the torch.
3:15 1/4 - MELTDOWN begins, "Yellow Car!"
3:16 - Rode to a discrete corner in the parking lot, got off the bike and Ethan erupted. . . Tried holding him and had him sit on my lap to keep him from anything drastic (Years ago during the Maricopa County Special Olympics Ethan lost in the 100 yard dash and approached the winner and kicked him in the shin. Tried to avoid another of those little episodes).
3:17 - Unable to remain discrete . . . Screaming carries . . . "Yellow Car!"
3:25 - A very friendly officer approached, had assessed from a distance what was wrong and offered to put out some police tape if we wanted a finish line to cross . . . Ben's dad approached and also offered that he had more ribbon if we wanted to recreate the finish line.
3:26 - Ethan apologized saying, "I'm sorry for saying shut up." Gave Ben's dad a hug and thanked him for the ribbon. "Yellow Car!"
3:27 - Helmets back on, back on the bike, and loop around the parking lot to the entrance so we could approach the ribbon; "Yellow Car!" Through the finish line with a crowd gathered to cheer and take pictures.
3:27 1/2 - Off the bike, helmet in the car, Ethan in the back seat buckled up announcing "Dad, I'm ready to go home now!"
3:30 - "Yellow Car!"