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20th Anniversary Ride For Russ honors memory of UNF track athlete

Russ and TeamA group of University of North Florida cross country and track & field alumni will embark on a 350-mile ride from the UNF Visit Jax Track at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville to Pompano Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to Saturday, Dec. 10, to honor the memory of a former teammate.

Glenn Russell “Russ” Steward was a UNF cross country runner from 1999-2002. Russ was known known for his wit, sense of humor, huge smile and as someone who always gave his best effort and encouraged the same out of his teammates.

In 2000, Russ and a friend attempted to run the coast of Florida from Pompano Beach to Jacksonville, FL. Due to an injury, they had to stop, and Russ vowed to finish at a later date. In 2001, Russ was struck by a car during a training run. Though doctors gave him little chance to survive, Russ pulled through. After extensive physical and mental rehabilitation, he returned to UNF in the Fall of 2002. His return served as an inspiration to his teammates and friends across UNF.

Tragically, shortly after returning to UNF Russ passed away due to an undiagnosed heart condition on September 16, 2002. A year after Russ passed, his teammates and friends vowed to finish his coastal run by cycling from UNF to Russ’s final resting place in Pompano Beach. The first Ride for Russ was an emotional tribute to a great friend and a way for his friends and teammates to raise money to create a scholarship in his honor.

The group completed the first Ride For Russ and raised $25,000, which created the Glenn Russell Steward Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is now awarded each year to a UNF track athlete that embodies Russ’s work ethic and eagerness to motivate and encourage teammates. The scholarship helps recipients dedicate their efforts to excellence in both athletics and academics.

Now after 20 years, the event theme is “Hustle for The Muscle” a nod to his nickname and chance to share his memory with a new generation. Learn more and support.