With one blow of his whistle, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo sent walkers and runners on a race around campus.
Spurred on by the school band, more than 3,000 people ran the course all the way from the Breslin Center to the Spartan Stadium, where the coach and his players were waiting with hugs and high fives. Some ran to bring awareness to different causes close to their hearts–like one firefighter who ran the race in all of his gear.
“Just kinda bringing awareness to the 343 who were, lost their lives in 9/11, raise funds to help those in the current time,” firefighter Bob Bates said.
But others just ran to have a good time. Some runners came from 22 different states–including one woman from Missouri.
“Seeing the people that come out and the people that participate and the enthusiasm that they’re getting just from being here,” runner Charlotte Crosby said, “and supporting Michigan State.”
It was the result of years of hard work and planning for Coach Izzo and his family, who say they’re happy to finally see it happen.
“You become part of the community, and there’s so many ways to give back,” Izzo said, “and we thought this would be a way to gather everybody and still give back to the much-needed charities that are out there.”
“[It was the] most amazing run I’ve ran, and I’m a Spartan fan,” Bates said. “I love Tom Izzo. Basketball team’s the greatest. Where else can you run and smile and have fun?”