Sept. 22, 2005
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State No. 18 men’s and No. 28 women’s teams will hit the road this weekend but not to participate in a collegiate race. On Saturday, September 24, the Seminoles will run for a different cause. They will be running in the Across the State Relay to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Fund to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“It is a good fund raiser and community service event that we can do as a team,” said head coach Bob Braman. “This is our fourth year doing it and it is really a great team bonding experience.”
The Across the State Relay is a 13-hour, 140-mile trek that gives the team a chance to give something back to the community. Each, of over 40 runners, is asked to raise $140 through sponsorships from their high school coaches, families, friends and former employers at a dollar-per-mile.
“It is a pretty neat thing that we can actually run across the entire state,” said Braman. “It is quite an accomplishment that they get from doing the actual relay as well as the fact that we get to donate a nice check to the Red Cross. It is a great event, it is a lot of work but it is one that the team gets really excited about.”
The team races in pairs and maintains a competitive pace of 10 miles per hour from Crystal River to Daytona Beach. A water bottle is filled half way up with water from the Gulf of Mexico and then the bottle is utilized as the baton during the race. When the race is completed the water bottle is then filled the rest of the way with Atlantic Ocean water.
Braman started the event in 1981 as president of the Tampa Bay Runners’ Club then took it to the University of South Florida. Upon assuming the head-coaching job at FSU, Braman changed the relay into a charitable event.
In 2004, the Seminoles raised over $7,000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Fund, which set up shelters and provided assistance to those who were affected by Hurricanes Charlie and Frances. In years before that FSU has raised approximately $12,000 for such charities as the United Way, the Dick Howser Center for Childhood Services Inc., Capital City Youth Services and the American Red Cross September 11th Relief Fund.