Cadets on the Army West Point Marathon Team kept the 'Ball Run' tradition going leading up to Army's historic win at the Army-Navy Game on Saturday, December 12, 2020.
According to members on the Marathon Team, the Ball Run is a tradition that started more than 30 years ago. The football for the Army-Navy Game is put into motion about a week before Game Day, carried by Marathon team members in relay all the way from West Point to the Stadium where the Army-Navy game will be played. As it travels miles from runner to runner and from towns to cities, the local communities along the way have also become part of the Ball Run tradition over the years.
This year, all 16 Marathon Team members, Master of the Sword Colonel Nick Gist ’94 and Commandant of Cadets BG Curtis A. Buzzard ’92 ran in the Ball Run, which started on December 1, 2020 at West Point. This year was unique in that the Ball Run remained on the grounds at West Point due to COVID-19 safety protocols. The collective USMA team still got in lots of travel time on post and the football was carried more than 170 miles around West Point before it arrived at Michie Stadium on Game Day!
During the Ball Run around post, the Marathon team issued a Ball Run Challenge to the community to run 10 miles in 10 days wherever you are, so that everyone could participate virtually and safely. The community accepted the challenge with over 260 runners and 2,800 community miles keeping the spirit of the Ball Run alive!
“Despite these differences, the team preserved the spirit of the ball run: community. We engaged the Army community with social media and fitness challenges, we interacted with hundreds of residents on-post, and we ran with Navy midshipmen.” - Cadet Alexander Block ’21. Go Army West Point Marathon!