Extra security won't dampen spirits at Pat's Run

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Among the thousands of people registered and ready to run in honor of war hero Pat Tillman on Saturday will be Boston native Steve Adelman. 

He decided to sign up for the 9th annual run after the bombing tragedy in his hometown.

“It’s important for all of us to show the bad guys, and frankly each other, no incident is going to deter us from living our lives and doing the things we want to do,” said Adelman, who’s also a Valley venue safety expert.

“When you’re in a public space, law enforcement can’t completely secure it, so it’s incumbent on all of us to look around and be observant,” Adelman told 3TV.

That’s the message echoed by law enforcement who urge everyone to be vigilant.

“Today’s day and age is different,” said Lt. Scott Smith.  “We as a community have to be active in protecting ourselves, our neighbors.”

Tempe police say extra officers and resources will be on hand Saturday, including police dogs, bomb experts, and assistance from local, federal and state agencies.

Lt. Smith says law enforcement wants the more than 30,000 people participating in the run to feel safe, so they can focus on the cause.

“This race is about Pat Tillman and the sacrifice he made not only for the state of Arizona but for our country,” said Lt. Smith.

Pat’s Run stretches 4.2 miles around the area of Tempe Town Lake.

“From a security standpoint, the Pat’s Run course is excellent,” said Adelman of the route. 

The open area will allow officers and people to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

The race finishes inside Sun Devil Stadium at the 42 yard line in honor of Pat Tillman’s football number.

“This has the benefit of being a securable area,” said Adelman. “So anyone who gets through the stadium will have to go through security."

Runners say they’re thankful security will be bolstered in light of Boston, but add they will be thinking about Pat Tillman and all the other troops who have sacrificed since Sept. 11.

“What a great man Pat Tillman was,” said Katherine Keeley.  “I can’t think of a man with better character.”