Race Across Michigan is a fundraising event coordinated by the University of Michigan Running Club (MRun) that benefits the Special Olympics. We start in Detroit and make our way across the state of Michigan, joining athletes from the Special Olympics in Ann Arbor for lunch and relays. About 24 hours after we leave Detroit, we finish our journey on the shores of Lake Michigan in South Haven.
Over the last 13 years, RAM has raised upwards of $130,000 for the Michigan Area 20 Special Olympics, which covers Washtenaw County. In 2019 alone, RAM fundraised over $30,000! In this, the 13th year of Race Across Michigan, we hope to continue and build our fundraising efforts! In addition to fundraising, MRunners spend the months preceding RAM volunteering with the Area 20 athletes. Getting to know the athletes and seeing the direct affects of our fundraising is incredibly rewarding, and MRunners agree is the best part of RAM. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, we will have limited contact with the athletes, but we will to continue to help them however we can!
Special Olympics is "the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries." This event directly benefits the Special Olympics Michigan, Area 20 (Washtenaw County). Area 20 is home to over 1,000 athletes who participate in basketball, soccer, cross-country, and seven other athletic events. They provide athletic activities and training year-round to athletes without charge to them or their families. Training and competition is open to every person with intellectual disabilities who registers to participate in Special Olympics. You can find out more about Special Olympics Michigan, Area 20 at somi.org.
Individuals and businesses can help us achieve our fundraising goal and continue making the athletic community accessible for all by donating to our Classy Fundraising Page. Sponsors can donate directly here.
This year's RAM coordinators are Kyle Finn and Abby Hiipakka. Kyle is a senior studying in english literature and communications and Abby is a junior studying movement science in the school of kinesiology. They are both passionate about working with athlese in the Special Olympics and are incredibly excited to continue the work that RAM has done for the past 13 years! If you have any questions or want more information about being involved in RAM or benefitting the Specialy Olympics, you can email them at RAMcoordinators@umich.edu.