Sept. 11, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing to stress the importance of community service, the Florida State cross country teams will participate in the Across the State relay beginning Friday, September 11. The Seminoles look to continue raising money for the United Way of the Big Bend in which FSU has donated over $20,000 in the past three years.
“I am really proud of the commitment of the team to better the community,” men’s head coach Bob Braman said. “It’s our ninth straight year that we have done the across Florida relay from Crystal River, Fla., to Daytona Beach, Fla. It’s over 130 miles the athletes have to run. Each year we have raised over $5,000 dollars to various charities in the big bend. For the past few years our target has been the United Way of the Big Bend. I am proud all the athletes understand how important it is to help others. It’s also a lot of fun for us as a team building activity along with training because there is a commitment that you have to run.”
Dating back to Coach Braman’s arrival to Florida State, the Across the State Relay has not only been used as a team building exercise, but also a way to share the Seminole spirit with the community. Both teams are asked to raise $140 through sponsorships from their high school coaches, families, friends and former employers at a dollar-per-mile.
The Across the State Relay is a 140-mile trek that begins with runners filling a water bottle half way in the Gulf of Mexico near Crystal River, Fla., and ends by filling the rest of the bottle with water in the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach, Fla. The water bottle acts like a baton between runners during the race.
Racing in pairs, the Seminoles maintain a pace of about 10 miles-per-hour. From Yankeetown, a town north of Crystal River, the athletes run across the peninsula through small towns, back roads and forested scenery in traffic areas with four to eight mile increments.
Following the runners are vans with fans, family and support staff cheering on the teams. In the last mile or so of the race, half the athletes dip th
eir water bottles in Atlantic Ocean while the remaining athletes finish the race with a jump in the water in Daytona Beach. “Saturday is a long day, but running for a charity is a special opportunity,” women’s head coach Karen Harvey said. “There is a lot of need for assistance this year especially and it’s good to think the athletes will be able to bring relief to families in need.”
Keep up with the Seminoles throughout the relay as video diaries and photo galleries will be available on www.seminoles.com. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @fsu_XCountry.