Marie Tillman amazed by 10 years of Pat's Run


by Jaime Cerreta

Bio | Email | Follow: @CerretaNews

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 25 at 10:54 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The annual Pat's Run is Saturday morning at Arizona State University's Tempe campus, marking the 10th anniversary of the death of ASU graduate and former NFL player Pat Tillman.

Pat Tillman went into the Army after the 9/11 attacks and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

3TV caught up with his widow, Marie Tillman, at a Pat's Run welcome party at the Tempe Mission Palms hotel Friday night.

"The 10-year is a big milestone and it's hard for me to believe that it's been 10 years," she said.

Marie Tillman said in some ways it feels like just yesterday that she lost her husband and in other ways, a lifetime ago.

"It's an interesting thing. I think a lot of people feel connected to Pat and the way that he lived his life," she said." He was somebody who was very real. What you see is what you get and I think that resonated with a lot of people, particularly here in Phoenix."

The $1 million raised during Pat's Run will go to the Pat Tillman Foundation, which gives college scholarships to military veterans.

"The Tillman military scholars are able to use the money that we invest in them for tuition, for room and board, for books, basically to make it such that their educational experience is less burdensome," said First Founding Executive Director Alex Garwood.

The run started with just friends and family has continued to grow in popularity. About 30,000 people are expected to participate Saturday.

"It is something that definitely struck a chord across the country and really we had people around the world that contacted us after he was killed," Marie Tillman recalled. "It is something that has stood the test of time as well, which is amazing."