Fraternity runs 170 miles to raise $10K

A marathon is 26.2 miles, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, however, has vowed to run a little over six times that length for a good cause.

From April 18-20 the men of EWU’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity will start their 170-mile journey from their fraternity house on campus to the Wild Horses Monument in Vantage, Wash.

The 170-mile relay is known as the Iron Phi, which is the fraternity’s annual event to raise money for their philanthropic focus to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

According to the ALS Association’s website, ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This organization leads the fight in research to find a cure.

“ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects your motor skills. It can happen to anyone,” said Phi Delta Theta’s philanthropy chair Brandon Hoff.

Tanner Whitaker, a member of Phi Delta Theta and an EWU freshman, explained that the members would not be running the whole way.

“It’s like a relay race. One person will run three miles and then we’ll switch out,” Whitaker said.

On April 5, the sun was shining as the members of the fraternity each ran 3.1 miles around the Roos Field track to practice their portion of the relay.

This is the second annual Iron Phi relay. Last year the fraternity raised over $6,500.

Since the beginning of the year, EWU’s Phi Delta Theta has raised over $10,000 for the ALS Association.

“We have four members that have raised $1,000 plus by themselves,” Janney said.

The members include Alek Behrends, Cory Blyth, Nick Shelford and Nick Sweeney.

According to EWU junior and president of Phi Delta Theta Scott Janney, ALS was chosen for their national philanthropy for a specific reason.

“Lou Gehrig was a Phi Delt. They still haven’t been able to find a cure, so that’s why we do it,” Janney said.

According to the Iron Phi website, “’We enjoy life by the help and society of others.’ This is, in fact, is our open motto and explains our chapter’s desire to help others through the Iron Phi initiative.”

To donate to the Phi Delta Theta’s philanthropy, visit and search for the chapter Washington Epsilon.


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