Top of the Morning, April 20, 2014
Next Saturday's Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon gets all the headlines. But there's another long-distance run this week deserving of attention.
Starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, the men of Phi Gamma Delta will jog around the Quad for 24 consecutive hours and 330 miles. Last year, they went 24/314 in the name of charity, raising awareness and money for Chicago-based Keep On Keeping On, a nonprofit assisting those with severe physical disabilities.
"We definitely have gotten some weird looks and comments the past couple years," said John Rouck, Phi Gamma Delta's philanthropy chair. "Thankfully the student body is pretty used to seeing groups do all kinds of weird things on the Quad so we don't stand out that much."
This isn't exactly "Animal House" in shorts. They'll celebrate their 24-hour trot not with kegs but kills, hosting a fundraising volleyball tournament involving UI sororities.
Here's more from Rouck:
How does it work?
We run two guys at a time in half-hour shifts and also have two guys sitting at our booth. As you can imagine, the table shifts fill up a little bit faster than the running ones.
Who gets the 4 a.m. shift?
The 4 a.m. shift is definitely one of the last filled up. If nobody signs up it is assigned to somebody that hasn't signed up for a shift. People on the philanthrophy chair's bad side usually get the worst shifts if they haven't signed up for any.
What's it like when the bars let out?
We are running on a Wednesday night this year so things probably won't get as interesting as they have in the past.
Ever think of running to Chicago and back?
I'm not sure some of our brothers could find their way to Chicago from Champaign.
Could any of your guys win the Illinois Marathon?
Never say never but I don't think I would be money on any of us.
What kind of training is involved?
The majority of our chapter is very physically active through working out and playing on intramural teams so there isn’t really any specific training for the run. However, I think I might start making people run sprints after chapter if they talk during my committee report.
Any celebrities ever come out to cheer you on?
We have had appearances by Elvis Presley and Tupac Shakur.
How long have you been doing this?
This run was inspired by Keep On Keeping On, which is the charity we support. Keep On Keeping On works to help people with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other severe physical diseases and is gearing up for a cross country run in the summer of 2015 to raise funds and awareness to their cause. Their original run in 2005 inspired our 24 hour run and this will be the third year we complete the run.