TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
Thousands of people honored a hero by participating in the 11th Annual Pat's Run, which starts and ends at Arizona State University in downtown Tempe.
“Everybody is very supportive, and it just shows how much everybody actually does care,” said James Rutzler, who was participating for the second time. “It's a fun event, lots of people, and it's going to a great cause. I'm an ASU alum, so it's a good time.”
Pat's Run honors former Arizona State and Cardinals defensive standout Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire while serving with the elite Army Rangers in Afghanistan.
The run raises money that helps military vets pay for school. So far, 347 students have benefited from the foundation.
“I'm a wounded warrior myself, and I understand there are a lot more people who have sacrificed more than I did, so I just want to represent them,” said runner Fernando Monarrez.
Tillman's jersey number was 42, so the run is only 4.2 miles and ends on the 42-yard line at Sun Devil Stadium.
This has become quite the event, with more than 30,000 runners, walkers and spectators pouring into the area.
“It's amazing," runner Gina Winn said. "So many people coming together from different communities, and it's like nothing you've ever experienced before."
Plenty of security was on hand again this year, with uniformed and undercover officers at the event.