The annual Torch Run for Special Olympics is set to go again Friday across the Garden State. It is an event that has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.

Former Port Authority Police Chief Robert Belfiore says some 1,400 law enforcement officers across New Jersey will participate in this year's torch run.

"The officers that do this do it for one reason, that is our athletes," he said.

"We have been doing this for 35 years. We started, the first year, we did about $7,000. We ran about 60 miles with maybe about 400 police officers. Today, we have 29 different legs. We run about 1,300 miles. It runs through approximately 60 municipalities on different legs of the run."

Belfiore says the earliest start is at Island Beach State Park at 5 a.m.

"And it runs all along the shoreline up towards Woodbridge. One starts at High Point, one starts at Elizabeth. There are so many different ones."

Last year, the event raised $3.8 million for New Jersey Special Olympics.

"100% of that money goes to our athletes. The officers involved, the businesses that support us, are all in for our athletes in New Jersey."

The torch is run in and opening ceremonies begin at 7pm Friday at the College of New Jersey in Ewing.

For a map of the routes, check NJtorchrun.org.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5