Caitlin Van Ermen
As another renowned University of Michigan vs. Michigan State football game concludes rivalry week comes to an end. This year; however, marks a celebration of a collaborative event for both schools. All 64 miles were completed from the Big House to East Lansing for Alex’s Great State Race Friday, October 24th. The race honored Spartan, Alex Powell and supports the efforts of the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities that helped him achieve his dream of attending college.
While the ROTC cadets and ultra-marathoners finished all 64 miles, Alex’s Great State Race continues to raise funds through December 23rd. Over 200 people rallied at the finish line, and close to 180 individuals donated money to MSU’s RCPD. Support from the community was instrumental in the inaugural Alex’s Great State Race.
Ultra marathoners and ROTC Cadets approaches the finish line of the 64 mile race (left) and Mark Hollis accepts the gameballs from UofM and MSU ROTC (right)
Featuring the two Big Ten powerhouses in the state of Michigan, Alex’s Great State Race brought regional and national attention.
Lansing State Journal reported the turnout of the Mason School Districts at mile 45 of the 64 mile trek. They quoted Juliana Powell, mother of Alex Powell saying “I am so proud, and I truly am humbled by the community’s support for this event”
“(In) Mason, they came out full force. The entire school district, I think, may have been out there. We had the young ones all the way up to the high schoolers…. who ran through the city.”
Grassroots effort cheers military and Alex Powell
For Spartan and Wolverine fans that watched the game on television, ESPN aired video footage of the 64 mile race. They covered the journey of the gameball from Ann Arbor to East Lansing for kickoff of the anticipated football game.
Director of RCPD, Michael Hudson remarks, "It was exciting to see media coverage of Alex Powell and the purpose of this event. Our mission, potential and the persistence and ability of students were readily evident."
With the help of additional news channels, we shared Alex’s Story. You can read and watch highlights from The Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, State News, WILX, WLNS, FOX 2 Detroit, MLive, Ann Arbor News, and WJR Detroit.
While we have to wait another year to see the strength and endurance of ROTC cadets and Ultra marathoners accomplish another inspiring 64 miles in honor of Alex Powell, the competition between Michigan and Michigan State is in full effect until December 23rd.
In support of the necessary resource centers and inclusive educational opportunities, Michigan has raised just over $10,000, while MSU has raised $15,000. The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities is eager to see the future Great State Races and the positive support both communities can encourage with a little competition.
“We can all reach a little further knowing that MSU is there for people during their toughest challenges,” said Hudson
“We remain faithful to the MSU traditions of quality, inclusiveness and connectivity because this is essential for each of us to reach our fullest potential.
We are heartened to know that Alex fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a Spartan – the closeness of the MSU and Powell families brings joy to our work.”