FIJI Run Across Virginia: Check them out on Route 29!
I’m no traffic reporter, but anyone traveling down Route 29 Saturday can expect some delays. You won’t need to worry, nobody is hurt. In fact, it’s actually quite the opposite. Peoples’ lives will be saved—all because of a group of men and a football.
The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech football game is a long-time rivalry in the NCAA. However, before the coin is tossed, whistles are blown and sufficient trash is talked, the UVA and VA Tech chapters of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity put aside their allegiances to raise money for The V Foundation.
“We’re a national brotherhood,” says Clayton Betts, Co-Philanthropy Chair at UVA FIJI. “This gives us a chance to get to know these other guys and be a part of something with them.”
In the fall of 2003, both chapters created “FIJI Run Across Virginia” in which they run the rivalry game ball 157 miles from one school to the other. Proceeds and sponsors of the event are then donated to cancer research. Ten years later, these men have raised over $370,000 and are gearing up for another record breaking year.
Next Friday morning, VA Tech members will leave Blacksburg with two police escorts and a charter bus filled with backup runners. One-by-one, the runners will make their way down Route 29 into Lynchburg, where they will pass the ball off to the UVA chapter. The UVA chapter will then run through the night to arrive at their stadium on game day.
“It’s something we’re all proud of.” says Doug Bowman, Football Run Chair at VA Tech FIJI. “It’s become our founding moment each year that we hang our hat on.”
Many people say you can’t come between a man and his football….and maybe we shouldn’t.