Army ROTC Cadets from MSU and UofM taking off at starting line in the rain at 3:00am in Ann Arbor


U-M to MSU: Alex’s Great State Race underway


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) students from Michigan State and the University of Michigan are running 64 miles for a game-day tradition.

The tradition is called “Alex’s Great State Race.” It was begun in honor of Alex Powell who had planned to attend MSU but was diagnosed with cancer and was treated at the University of Michigan.

“Honestly, it’s just a great way to honor Alex; honestly I mean this is what the whole race is about but it’s also just like keeping a good tradition going,” Nathan Hebert, MSU, said.

Runners start in Ann Arbor at 3 a.m. and plan to make it to East Lansing and the Sparty statue by 12:30 p.m.

This year, ROTC cadets will be joined by a group of athletes with disabilities and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, who will run the last five miles of the race.

“This year I’m so excited to actually run it for the first time,” Herbert said.

“I’m really excited because last year I wasn’t able to participate because I was injured but I’m here now and I’m also going to the MSU game on Saturday so I’m really excited to be a part of this,” Sam Roberts, U of M said.