The Maine Special Olympics torch run got underway Tuesday as a group of officers set out from Sanford and headed to Kittery. Today, participating officers will head north on Route 1 converging with officers who set out from Bridgton and Brunswick.

The annual law enforcement torch run raises money for and awareness about the Special Olympics. The run culminates Friday as torch-bearers arrive at the University of Maine at Orono where a cauldron will be lit, opening the 2012 summer games.

Maine peace officers have participated in the annual run since 1985 and now about 700 officers run in one of the 15 legs each year.

Special Olympics provide year-round training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics athlete oath is “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Over the years, the law enforcement torch run has raised more than $1 million, according to the Special Olympics.