DARLINGTON, Wis. -

For the 11th straight year, the Darlington High School Cross Country teams are running the "Relay For Life" across Wisconsin.

Each year, runners take half-mile splits as they caravan across the state. This year they'll run from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.

The journey began at 6 a.m. Friday and will wrap up Saturday afternoon.

The 2014 Relay For Life is dedicated to two people who are battling cancer: Gary Ringen, a former Darlington High School teacher and long-time, coach; and Jen Schilling, the mother of one of the runners.

The runners are amazed when people they don't even know join in.

"One guy stopped and said my best friend died of cancer and my mom's a cancer survivor, " Darlington cross country coach Arnie Miehe said.

"He reaches in his pocket and hands us some money. He says, 'Keep it going,' and drives off. I'll never know that guy, I'll never meet him again, but he knows that somebody cares."