Won if by land

Zach Calef and Doug Stevens

In a weekend of competition, a group of students from Iowa and Iowa State are meeting for a common goal – to find a cure for muscular dystrophy. The ROTC programs at the University of Iowa and Iowa State are teaming up this weekend for the annual Game Ball Run. The 120-mile bike ride/run benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association kicks off today at 5:30 a.m., said Lt. Tom Jones, a faculty member in the ISU ROTC. Together the schools have raised about $2,000 that will be used to help find a cure for the disease. ISU Football Coach Dan McCarney said the run is a positive tradition for the two schools. “I think it brings exposure to the game,” he said. “Anything we can do to involve people on this campus with Iowa State football is a good thing.” Eleven seniors from the ISU team will be biking 60 miles to Tama. They will be followed by a safety van supplied by the University of Iowa. The ISU team will then meet the U of I team in Tama for a 60-mile run to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Once teamed up in Tama, one school will run for two hours while the other follows in a van. The U of I team will run first, and then the two schools will rotate every two hours until they arrive in Iowa City around 10 or 11 p.m., Jones said. Jones said the two squads will present the game ball at the Iowa State-Iowa game Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in Iowa City. Cadet Kimberly Klaver said the bike/run is for a good cause, and she’s excited for it. “All the seniors are looking forward to it,” said Klaver, senior in journalism and mass communication. “It’s something new and outside of the battalion.” The bike/run was started in 1986 after one of the cadets, Kristy Samms, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, Jones said. It’s been a tradition every year since. ISU ROTC cadets said unlike the game, the run is more of a collaboration than a competition. “It’s more of a team effort,” said Cadet Lee Vandewater, senior in history. “Once we reach our destination, it’s a party.” Cadet Luke Craven, senior in political science, ran in the event last year. He said it’s pertinent for the two schools to work together. “The game-ball run is a good time for Iowa State and Iowa cadets to get together and build camaraderie because we could be future colleagues,” he said. Donations to the event are made by companies in the Iowa City and Ames areas.