21. The Torchathon

Ashley Hunt

The Torchathon

Yet another one of Iowa State’s lost homecoming traditions comes in the form of the Torchathon. This event began in 1981.

27 runners from Iowa State ran a torch relay from the University of Missouri, which was the rival for the Homecoming game that year.

The runners related the torch from the University of Missouri to Ames, where the torch was presented at the pep rally. 

The Torchathalon proved to be a success and earned a place as an annual ISU Homecoming tradition. 

Each year, runners would relay the torch from the opponent’s stadium to Jack Trice Stadium. They would make the journey through the tailgating lots and finally make it to the field where it would be presented during the pregame activities.

1986 marked the longest route of the Torchathon, when the rival of the year was the University of Wyoming. 50 runners carried the torch 800 miles over five days.

The Iowa State Homecoming Torchathon became the longest collegiate marathon of its type in the entire country until it became a nonexistent event in the late 1990s.