NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The University of Oklahoma Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps kicked off its annual 192-mile Run To Dallas on Wednesday morning.
“I’ll tell you, I’m not aware of anything like it in college sports,” said Navy Capt. Paul Young, a professor of Naval Science for OU’s NROTC program.
The event started with head coach Brent Venables handing off a game ball to an OU Senior and NROTC Battalion Commander.
“[From there,] The Naval ROTC from the University of Oklahoma runs the ball 200 miles over the next two days to go from the Palace in the Prairie all the way to the Cotton Bowl,” explained the President of The University of Oklahoma, Joseph Harroz Jr.
Two Oklahoma Midshipmen will be running at all times during the day, trading off with other Midshipmen who will be accompanying the runners in vans.
“We have 60 Midshipmen and Marines in the Battalion, and all of them will have a part of the running to do,” said Capt. Young.
Also joining the run this year is OU’s Police Department and Norman’s Police and Fire Departments.
“We’re doing that because of all they’ve done this past year with the swatting incident that took place last spring,” said President Harroz.
Once the runners make it to the Cotton Bowl on Friday, they’ll meet up with the University of Texas’s NROTC Units. Battalion Commanders of each unit will present game balls to officials, which will be used for the Oct. 7 game.
“For a short moment in time prior to the football game, the rivalry sort of goes away. It sort of evaporates,” said Young. “It’s really special.”
The Sooners and Longhorns will face off Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.