EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—With a countdown and a whistle, thousands of people from across the state ran, walked, and rolled across Michigan State’s campus today. It was all a part of the Izzo Legacy Run, Walk, and Roll event.
“Tom Izzo is absolutely an icon for MSU and he just inspires me. He’s a great person. I love what he does and what he stands for,” said runner Collin Dillinger.
Money raised will go towards charities and organizations in the community picked by Tom Izzo and his wife Lupe. They say this event is a team effort, and one they hope brings the spartan community together year after year.
“We want to be able to have something to be able to come back to and continue giving and keep coming back to,” said The Izzo Legacy Foundation founder, Lupe Izzo.
“I think when you have something like this and you’ve been in the community for as long as we have. It really is a community affair it’s not about the legacy in my mind it’s about the people,” said Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo.
They call it the spartan way. It’s a family where anyone is welcome and for the first time, this year added another special group to the starting line by including people with disabilities to participate using handcycles, wheelchairs, and walking aid devices.
“It means a lot. I’m so grateful that I’m here and have the opportunity just to be able to do this and have a good time with my friends,” said MSU Junior and member of the Adaptive Sports Club, Zach Zera.
Others like Dan Lantis ran carrying an American flag returning to campus to honor his mom who loved the Izzo family.
“She would love it and she would love to see this entire event and I know she was a big fan of Tom. She would be in her 70s and 80s she would be yelling for Izzo in the living room and if the game was close she would walk in the kitchen and then she would come back in the living room. It was so funny,” said Lantis.
Lupe Izzo says that’s what this is all about.
“We know that the people in this community have embraced us and our program and to me it’s an honor to be able to do what we do.”