Rivals Week: MSU and UM put differences aside for epic run across state

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — College football rivals put their differences aside Friday for a good cause.

Ahead of Saturday’s big football game between Michigan State and the University of Michigan students from both schools got together for an epic run across the state.

Alex’s Great State Race brought together ROTC cadets from both schools for a run that stretched from Ann Arbor to East Lansing.

“We’re all going to be officers in the army someday so it’s just building that comradery,” said U of M cadet Kristian Bell.

The race is in honor of MSU student Alex Powell.

“He passed away from cancer five years ago. And a way for me to heal was to give back, and this is my way of giving back,” said Alex’s mother, Juliana Powell.

Now in its third year, the run is a fundraiser for disability services at both universities.

“We’re really excited. Because sometimes the people we run for aren’t able to do that,” said MSU cadet Cameron Woodard.

Starting in Ann Arbor, the cadets run five mile spurts with some precious cargo, the game balls for Saturday’s big game.

A support bus follows the runners so they can rest, and are kept safe.

After 64 miles and 9 hours of running, the cadets finally crossed the finish line in the shadows of Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

Lead by the American flag, all of the cadets dashed into MSU in full force.

Woodard and Bell say they ran a combined total of 42 miles.

“We’re just humbled by the experience. We love this, all of us. ” Woodard said.

“Today we’re enemies, and we’ll be friends on Sunday again,” Bell said.

Hopefully this act of goodwill can set the tone for Saturday’s face off.

For more information on Alex’s Great State Race, visit this link: http://alexsgreatstaterace.org/

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