Sept. 10, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. − The Florida State men's and women's cross country teams will participate this Saturday (Sept. 13) in the annual "Across The State Relay" in an effort to not only put in a day of training and team-building, but also to raise money for the United Way of the Big Bend in the process.
The "Across the State Relay" is a 13-hour, 140-mile trek that begins by filling a water bottle halfway in the Gulf of Mexico near Crystal River, Fla., and ends by filling the rest of the bottle with waters from the Atlantic Ocean at Daytona Beach. The water bottle acts as a baton during the relay as the Seminoles run in pairs across the state.
Each of over 40 runners in the men's and women's cross country programs are asked to raise $140 through sponsorships from their high school coaches, families and friends at the rate of a dollar-per-mile.
"This is a great team bonding event, but I think it goes beyond that," head men's cross country coach Bob Braman said. "We are a team and we are relaying, but we are doing so for a cause. The United Way of the Big Bend has been a big charity for me going back to 1983 when I first started coaching. It`s a really important cause for me because the United Way serves so many great agencies and our student-athletes really feel like they have accomplished something by being a part of this event."
Over the last three years, Florida State's "Across the State Relay" has raised $15,000 and the team has donated those funds to the United Way of the Big Bend. This mission of the United Way of the Big Bend is to raise money and mobilize resources to meet priority human needs. They lead and inspire the region to work together as a community, collectively caring for one another and enhancing the quality of life for all.
Braman started the event in 1981 as president of the Tampa Bay Runners' Club, and 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.