Utah Football Fans Introduce ‘Ty Jordan Challenge’ To Run 597 Miles

Dec 29, 2020, 1:07 PM
Ty Jordan - Utah Utes vs. Washington State...
Ty Jordan #22 of the Utah Utes gets away from Jahad Woods #13 of the Washington State Cougars during their game December 19, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football fans are coming together to honor the life of Utes running back with the “Ty Jordan Challenge.”

The Ty Jordan Challenge is running 597 miles between January 1 and the 2021 football season opener in September. The number of miles represents the amount of rushing yards Ty Jordan had during his freshman season with the Utes.

The idea came from University of Utah alum and longtime season ticket holder Corey Gillies. The former “Pirate in the North End Zone” caught up with KSL Sports to talk about his idea.

“Michelle Bodkin of Ute Zone tweeted about us committing ourselves to excellence for Ty,” Gillies said. “I have been wanting to get back into running and thought I would challenge myself to running 597 miles before our first game in 2021 to honor Ty’s 597 yards in 2020. It just hit me shortly after reading that tweet.”

Ty Jordan’s Passing

Jordan died on Christmas night in Denton, Texas near his hometown to an apparent accidental self-inflicted gun shot wound. The entire Utah community has been grieving the loss of the running back who recently earned Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award.

Like many fans, players and coaches, Gillies was in shock when he found out that Jordan passed away.

“I was flabbergasted, had to keep re-reading the news. I didn’t believe it at first and kept saying to myself, ‘no way, no way,'” Gillies stated. “Later in the day it was very emotional. Still is actually. Just so much life in front of him.”

Gillies has seen his fair share of Utah football, attending games as a child in the late 90’s and has been a season ticket holder since 2005. He used to dress up as a pirate. The Sandy, Utah native still dresses up from time to time for special games.

How Fans Can Participate In The Ty Jordan Challenge

Gillies has teamed up with fellow Ute fan and alum Sadie Pyne to set up the Ty Jordan Challenge on the Nike Run app. Fans that want to join are encouraged to send a direct Twitter message to @capnwarfare or @Sadiepyne. Let them know you want to join and they will let you know how you can participate in the Ty Jordan Challenge.

From January 1, 2021 to September 2, 2021, to achieve 597 miles, fans would need to run an average of 2.43 miles per day. The reaction that Gillies has already received by fans wanting to participate has blown him away.

“I am blown away actually,” Gillies mentioned. “It is really cool to see so many people jump on. I was just intending this to be a personal challenge to honor Ty. I am really taken aback to see it coming together. Sadie Pyne has been awesome with setting up the challenge on the Nike Run app. I am really looking forward to getting out there.”

If fans would rather bike the 597 miles, they are allowed to do so.

Gillies hinted to KSL Sports that they are working on a special event for fans on the last day before the season opener. Stay tuned for that.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Utah Football Fans Introduce ‘Ty Jordan Challenge’ To Run 597 Miles