Mike and Kate Maurer are runners who came up with an inspired idea and organized a great event for a great cause, but they’re more than that: they’re parents to a wonderful little boy named Alex. Five-year-old Alex is active and energetic, he loves climbing and running…when he’s feeling well enough to play like other five year olds. Alex has Nephrotic Syndrome, a condition neither of his parents had even heard of before he was diagnosed.
Mike and Kate know the trials of managing and living with NS, and like tens of thousands of others rely on breakthroughs in medical research to find better treatments and a cure for their son. They decided they needed to do something. As avid runners having completed numerous races of distances ranging from 5k to marathon, and team relays of 212 miles, they decided to blend their love of running with their desire to fundraise and created a 124-mile race called the Rival Game Relay. Capitalizing on a centuries-old Iowa rival between the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones, they timed their race to coincide with the annual Iowa/ISU football game.
Eleven teams registered to complete the course beginning in Ames, IA, Cyclone territory, and finishing just outside of Iowa City, IA, land of the Hawkeyes. Several teams were comprised of eight or more runners who ran various legs, “ultra” teams contained 5 runners or less, and ultra runner Troy Thompson completed 102 of the 124 mile course on his own!
NephCure Kidney International thanks the Maurers and all of the runners who participated in the inaugural Rival Game Relay event.