Dozens of Tuolumne County Special Olympics athletes and volunteers ran through downtown Sonora shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday for an annual torch run to commemorate the upcoming Special Olympics Summer Games.

They were joined by a battalion of first responders from California Highway Patrol, the Sonora Police Department, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, the Tuolumne County District Attorney's Office and Cal Fire.

The run began at the Red Church and traveled south along Washington Street to Stockton Road before ending at the livestock gate of the Mother Lode Fairgrounds, where additional celebrations and activities were held.

Twelve Special Olympics athletes will represent the Mother Lode in swimming, track-and-field events, and as a bocce ball team next weekend at University of California, Davis, for the Northern California Summer Games.

Special Olympics athletes from Tuolumne County will also compete for the first time at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle from July 1 through 6. The group will include two athletes competing in next weekend’s Summer Games, as well as two bowlers.

Contact Alex MacLean at or (209) 588-4530.