8th Annual Pat's Run


by Tess Rafols

Bio | Email | Follow: @Tess3TV


Posted on April 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 23 at 12:06 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It was a sold-out race in Tempe Saturday morning as 28,000 people hit the pavement in memory of Pat Tillman.

Divided in different start groups, runners of all ages represented 50 states and Washington, D.C., for the 8th Annual Pat's Run.

Tillman has left quite the legacy. The former NFL player turned in his Arizona Cardinals uniform and traded it for fatigues after Sept. 11. He joined the Army Rangers and was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire in April 2004.

His story is one that has inspired millions of people, like J.B. Merrill.

"I've been a runner for 30 years and this is the most inspirational run I've ever run in," he explained. "That National Anthem touched me like nothing. It was unbelievable."

"I'm a veteran myself," Troy Reynolds said. "The life that Pat lived was just insipiring. To this day, it's still inspiring."

Runners and walkers started at Arizona State University. They traveled 4.2 miles around Tempe Town Lake and around the downtown area. Everyone ended at the 42-yard line inside Sun Devil Stadium to honor Tillman's number, 42.

Even the Kids Run had youngsters sprinting .42 of a mile.

The money raised at this event goes to the Pat Tillman Foundation. In the last eight years, it has given away over $2 million in scholarships to military members and their famlies.

Matt Randall served in the military for five years. He was faced with the challenge of getting back into the real world after his service. Thanks to the Tillman Foundation, he was able to go back to school.

"I think one of the neatest things about this is you get a real sense of the community's support for the sacrifices of the military ... the community cares," Randall said.

This year's event was sold out. Registration for Pat's Run 2013 starts in November.