Running…love it, hate it, it’s for charity.

Running. It’s a love/hate thing for virtually every single human being on the face of the Earth. On the one hand, running is incredibly healthy with helping burn calories, keeping you active, and you feel so accomplished when you’re done. On the other hand, it sucks, it’s boring, you’re out of breath, you want water, but can’t stop, your feet hurt, and you’re probably going to eat a cheeseburger when you’re done anyway so the whole run was pointless.

This is the way I view running and how it’s rewarding, yet horribly difficult to do. Well, this past Friday, my fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), did a whole lot of running. From the front steps of our house in good ol’ Hanover to the wonderful town of Bloomington, Ind., we ran.

Some of my FIJI brothers awaiting their turn to run (Photo credit to senior Andrew Ridner)
Some of my FIJI brothers awaiting their turn to run
(Photo credit – senior Andrew Ridner)

Every year, FIJI does a charity run called the FIJI Football Run. Working with the Red Cross, we literally run from the front door of our house all the way to Bloomington while carrying a football. The whole purpose of the run is to raise money for the Red Cross, followed by a football game the next day against Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Every year, the FIJI’s of the Tau chapter here at Hanover work with the FIJI’s at Rose-Hulman where we run a football the distance between Hanover and Rose-Hulman by foot. Rose-Hulman is all the way in Terre Haute, Ind., and this year, we ran the first leg of the run from Hanover to Bloomington where we handed off the ball to the Rose-Hulman FIJI’s to run the rest of the distance to Terre Haute.

Is the distance between Hanover and Bloomington much greater than the distance between Bloomington and Terre Haute? Yes, yes it is. We started the run at 8 a.m. and took turns throughout the day and into the early evening, driving to checkpoints, running a mile or two, switching with a brother and driving back for class.

Our entire chapter compiled our class schedules for Friday and signed up for two-hour shifts to run in between our classes while leaving enough time to make it back to school.

Seniors Connor Powell (left) and junior Austin Mann (right) about to hand the football off to senior AJ Ehrlich (front)  (Photo credit to Andrew Ridner)
Senior Connor Powell (left) and junior Austin Mann (right) about to hand the football off to senior AJ Ehrlich (front)
(Photo credit – senior Andrew Ridner)

To keep the run going, a certain number of brothers left the house as a group in a car and drove ahead a mile. One brother would run a mile and then a second brother from the car would jump out and run the next mile allowing the first brother to ride in the car and take a break.

We repeated this process all the way to Bloomington with the Red Cross following behind the brother running so traffic would not hit him.

If a brother had class, he would wait until he had a two-hour window and would leave from the house in a car with a group and drive to wherever the current runner happened to be. Then, he would enter the rotation and allow other brothers who had class to drive back to Hanover and be academically scholarly and what not.

The whole run was estimated to last from 8 a.m. to about 10 p.m. considering that Bloomington is forever away on foot. But somehow (maybe it’s that many of us are either current or retired college athletes), we managed to finish our leg of the run by 7 p.m.! That’s still nearly 12 hours of running, but think about how long that is! I mean, 12 hours? You have to give us some credit.

Regardless, we all dressed up in FIJI attire like jerseys, headbands, short shorts, longs socks, etc. This was the first year I did the run, and I honestly wasn’t looking forward to it. But after spending time with my brothers, getting some exercise, and dying of laughter from people’s outfits and exhaustion, it may have been one of the best experiences I’ve had here at Hanover.

Seniors Colin Brooke, Connor Powell, and Stuart Creasey awaiting their next turn to run  (Photo credit to Senior Andrew Ridner)
Seniors Colin Brooke, Connor Powell, and Stuart Creasey awaiting their next turn to run
(Photo credit – Senior Andrew Ridner)

I’m coming close to my word limit, so I will talk to you all later.

And by the way,
Proud to be a FIJI.

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