Students stumble over hay to raise money for cancer fund

A Delta Sigma Phi 4K Hay Run for Cancer coordinator holds a sign to gather the faster runners to the front of the starting zone. The run took place around Central Campus on April 17.

Greg Zwiers

Nathan Davis wasn’t wearing a shirt when he stumbled over a stack of hay bales to cross the finish line. 

Davis, who expected an itchy rash to come soon after the adrenaline wore off, rolled into first place with a time of 14:08 for Delta Sigma Phi’s 4K Hay Run for Cancer on Saturday. 

This was Delta Sigma Phi’s first philanthropy since returning to Iowa State. There were 167 racers and the event raised $1,670 for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

The 4K Hay Run for Cancer had a $10 entry fee for participants who gathered on Central Campus on April 17 for the 6 p.m. race. Most racers were ISU students, but there were Ames community members in attendance as well.

“As our first philanthropy, that’s an amazing start and could really go somewhere,” said Cody Hut, junior in industrial technology, Delta Sigma Phi member and race co-coordinator.

Racers had to watch out for hay bale obstacles as well as each other in the course through campus.

The 4K for Cancer program of the Ulman Cancer Fund For Young Adults sponsors 4,000-mile bike and running races across the United States.

The races are scheduled with time for participants to go to cancer treatment centers to speak with patients, give chemotherapy care packages and volunteer where the centers need help, said Jeffrey Robson, sophomore in kinesiology and health, and Delta Sigma Phi member who biked from Philadelphia to San Francisco last summer with 4K for Cancer.

Tyler Tweeten, sophomore in pre-business and Delta Sigma Phi member, will be running from San Francisco to New York City with the program this summer.

“We thought of doing an obstacle course, something similar to like a Tough Mudder or a Warrior Dash, but way toned down so anyone could participate,” said Ryan Gallus, junior in computer engineering, Delta Sigma Phi member and race co-director.

When coming up with an idea for their first philanthropy as a newly rechartered greek chapter at Iowa State, Robson suggested partnering with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults because of his experience in summer 2014.

“We only started rechartering last April, so it’s been about a year now and were able to put on an event this big, so I’m pretty excited about that,” Gallus said.

Robson acted as a lead bike, taking a few laps around the course to keep runners on track. Hut said he was thankful there were no injuries and the race ran smoothly.

Hut said there were some problems, like some of the hay bales falling apart, but nothing major.

“If there’s not problems, you’re not trying to think outside the box enough,” Hut said.

Graham Bacon, sophomore in materials engineering, came in second, with Brennan Kelly, senior in industrial engineering, finishing third.

Alex Daly, junior in computer engineering, said the race was something different from usual and very well advertised. Daly said he would do the race again next year.

Delta Sigma Phi members spent the two weeks prior to the race with a table in the free speech zone outside of Parks Library, reached out to the greek community for support and took advantage of social media to advertise.

“They’ve been especially helpful with this being our first ever philanthropy. I think a lot of people are excited we are able to pull this off,” Gallus said.

Delta Sigma Phi member Ben Feltes acted as emcee for the race, frequently joking around and playing an air horn app through the speaker.

Perfect Games was a last-minute sponsor, donating a $25 gift card for the first finisher, $10 gift cards for second and third, Gallus said. He hopes to get more Ames companies and community members involved next year.