Runners from Hannibal, Paris and Shelbina gathered in Hannibal's Central Park at noon Friday, April 25, for the local Show-Me State Games Shelter Insurance Torch Run.
Runners from Hannibal, Paris and Shelbina gathered in Hannibal’s Central Park at noon Friday, April 25, for the local Show-Me State Games Shelter Insurance Torch Run.
After brief speeches by Torch Run personnel and city leaders, and a torch-lighting ceremony, the group did a two-mile run through downtown Hannibal.
They were led by regular jogger Kevin Knickerbocker, who was the first to carry the torch. He also was representing Hannibal as mayor pro tem.
Earlier Mayor Roy Hark expressed pride in the several city officials and police officers who were participating. As he spoke, a large torch was burning in the park’s bandstand. The torch carried for the local run was lit from this torch.
Some of the runners were carrying on a family tradition, such as sisters Mollie and Elizabeth Cupp of Paris, Mo. Their mother, Victoria Cupp, later explained she had competed in team sports in her youth.
The girls were accompanied by Diane Mayes of Shelbina, Mo., and her mother, Debra Mayes. Both Diane and Mollie had previously competed in 5-k runs.
During the opening ceremonies, Frank Thompson, representing Shelter Insurance, reported the Show-Me State Games in Missouri began in 1985 with 600 people competing.
Now it includes 40 events for people of all ages, Thompson said, and last year 26,000 people participated.
The games are now hosted by the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
Hannibal was among several Missouri cities having torch runs prior to the official games.
Thompson invited everyone present to come to Columbia, where the 30th anniversary games are scheduled on June 20 to 22, July 18 to 20, and July 25 to 27.
In addition to the summer games, Show-Me State Games schedule events throughout the year to promote health, fitness, family and fun.
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