10th annual Pat's Run a success despite weather changes

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on April 26, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 26 at 5:29 PM

PHOENIX -- Clouds rolled in, the wind picked up and there was a drop in temperature, but nothing was stopping the 10th annual Pat's Run Saturday.

It started in 2005 with just friends and family of Pat Tillman, and now more than 30,000 people participate in support of the Pat Tillman Foundation.

One man traveled all the way to Tempe from Thailand just to participate and said this run is different.

“Usually the races I do are really just for myself," he said. "This is just to share with everybody. Common ground, you know. Respect for one guy."

Pat Tillman was a standout Arizona State University football player who went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals and then gave it all up to join the military after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was killed by friendly fire.

For many participants, this wasn't the first time they laced up their running shoes for Pat's Run.

“It's honoring someone who gave up money and all the worldly pursuits to fight for our country and I think that's really admirable, so I run to honor him,” said Deirdre Eager, who ran with her kids this year. “I was proud of them for running. They didn't get into shape or do anything. I’m very proud.”

Running attire spanned from traditional running shorts to capes and one runner even carried a giant toy zebra on his back. It didn’t matter because the 4.2-mile run, jog or walk was more about a message than a stiff competition.

“It's a lot of fun but Pat's life was just marked by dedication, integrity and passion, and those are things that I think we should all try to emulate in our lives," another participant said. "It's great to come out here and honor his characteristics and values."

People who couldn't make it to Tempe participated in 34 shadow runs across the United States and even as far away as Afghanistan.

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