Last Saturday, June 9, over 500 runners relayed from the Rexburg Idaho Temple to the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple in a race of perseverance and teamwork.
Put on by Student Activities, the Temple to Temple Relay was open not only to students but to all those with a desire to run. Runners took the back roads along the Menan Butte trail to cover just over 39 miles.
For many runners, this was not just a race of endurance. It meant something more.
“I kind of joked around last year about us being little angels,” said Alyssa Jamieson, a senior studying exercise physiology. “Let’s get wings and run temple to temple.”
Jamieson and her team, the Chunky Monkeys, made it to the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple around 12:30 p.m. They were the first to cross the finish line.
“This race brings the message that we should be focused on the temple,” Jamieson said. “That’s where we should be running to. We’re all little angels trying to get to the temple as fast and as hard as we can.”
Teams worked together by motivating their runners along the roadway. They encouraged them to push forward by shouting praise and running short stints with their teammates.
“(The race) showed the power of working together,” said Tyler Gowans, a sophomore studying construction management.
The relay took nearly nine hours to complete. As opposed to starting all the runners at once, race officials staggered participants between 10-minute intervals for nearly two hours to reduce traffic along the route.
“Because of the logistics of the roads, we don’t want 68 people running at the same time,” said Natal Rossainz, a race official and sophomore studying accounting. “About five or eight teams will run together and we will check their final time (compared with their starting time) and we’ll see who has the best time.”
Each runner played a part in helping their team reach the temple. Not a single team fell short of that goal. As the final participants from each team neared the finish line, spectators would cheer as teammates gathered around their runner — sprinting to the finish line together.