I have been struggling to get back into running after I developed a knee injury a few years ago and I am pleased to say that I just ran in the 9th Annual Pat’s Run. I have wanted to participate in Pat’s Run for years but always had a reason why I couldn’t. As an Arizona State University alumni and an Army wife, this race holds special meaning to me so I made it a priority this year.
I went to Arizona State University at the same time Pat Tillman did. We parked in the same parking lot and often rode the same shuttle bus. We never exchanged so much as a word but I knew who he was. He was the most visible superstar of the Sun Devil football team. I was a season ticket holder and loved that team like every other loyal Sun Devil did. After college, I was very excited when Tillman was signed by the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL draft because I am a devout Cardinals fan (don’t knock it ’til you try it). Like most Arizonans I was amazed, but not surprised, when Tillman left the NFL to join the Army after 9-11. Two years later I cried along with America when Pat died in Afghanistan. Pat’s Run was started as a way to honor Tillman’s memory. It also serves as a fundraiser for The Pat Tillman Foundation which provides resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active servicemembers, and their spouses.
This year Pat’s Run took place less than a week after the bombing at the Boston marathon. That made this run symbolic is more ways than it usually is. Many runners held signs supporting the people in Boston and others wore Boston sports teams hats and shirts. For me this run represented many things. It was a way to remember Pat Tillman, a show of support for my soldier, a statement in favor of the troops, and a way to rally behind Boston. It was also my first race entry since my half marathon 3 years ago. I had an unbelievable time and shed a few tears along the way.
Have you ever participated in Pat’s Run? Which runs have you participated in? Feel free to leave a comment. Share and let’s talk about it.
(By the way, doesn’t that lady appear to be scowling at me? So funny.)