Just over 11 years since his tragic death, defending our country in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan, Pat Tillman’s legacy not only lives on but continues to thrive.
The former Arizona State star, Cardinals safety and American hero will again be the focal point this weekend in Tempe as thousands join together for Pat’s Run, a signature fundraising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation.
“When we started this we were told there were going to be about 800 people at the first run,” former ASU head trainer, Pat’s Run Founder/Creator Perry Edinger told Sports360AZ.com in a phone interview Thursday. “We had 5,500 which was amazing…we look each year to create this opportunity to raise awareness and raise funds for military scholars.”
This year they’re expecting close to 30,000 participants, 3,000 of them kids.
Tillman’s impact is now being passed along to younger generations through the run by families involving their kids in events like Saturday morning’s 11th-annual run which ends at the 42-yard line of Sun Devil Stadium.
“.42 miles for your eight, nine, 10, 11-year olds that’s a race,” Edinger explained. “You end up seeing mothers filming their dads with their kids because the dads are just so excited to be on the field with their kids. It gives us an opportunity…to continue to grow the whole event.”
Edinger, who trained Tillman at ASU, says he’d have mixed emotions about an event in his honor.
“He’d probably say, ‘Hey, that’s pretty cool, but why the [expletive] are you doing this?'”
As only Tillman would.