Eastern Washington University’s chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity is planning a fundraising relay run from the Cheney campus to the Wild Horse monument near Vantage, Wash., Friday through Sunday.
The relay is a fundraiser for the ALS Association, which funds research to find a cure for what’s commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“It’s the first year we have done this and it’s a completely new idea that we just kind of thought up,” said Brian Lynn, who’s a Phi Delta Theta alumni from EWU and the fraternity’s adviser.
Phi Delta Theta chapters from the University of Washington, University of Puget Sound and Whitman College in Walla Walla are also participating in the relay. The plan is for everyone to meet at the monument Sunday evening.
“We were trying to do a cross-state run from Spokane to Seattle with all the chapters, but that was a logistical nightmare so we changed the plan to run into the middle of the state instead,” Lynn said.
The Wild Horse Monument was picked as a destination partly because it kept the mileage for the different chapters about the same, and partly because Lou Gehrig, who was also a member of Phi Delta Theta, was known as the Iron Horse.
“Of course, the chapters from the West Side of the state have to run over the mountains,” Lynn said. “That’s maybe a little tougher.”
The relay is part of the Iron Phi program, a fundraising campaign started a couple of years ago in memory of Gehrig, Lynn said.
The runners have to stick to the highways parallel to Interstate 90 for the roughly 170 mile run.
“We will have a team of 15 kids, and each runs 10 or 11 miles so we should make it by Sunday evening,” Lynn said. “Well, I sure hope we can keep everyone going and make it.”
To make a donation to the fundraising relay, go to www.ironphi.org and click on “find athletes/donate,” then search Eastern Washington University chapter.