This past weekend, my wife and I walked the Pat Tillman 4.2 memorial run. This was actually our second year participating. It is a 4.2 mile race commemorating the life of Pat Tillman who turned down a $3+ million NFL contract to serve his country in the Army. He was subsequently killed by friendly fire while serving overseas - which regrettably the govt tried to cover up (but I digress). 4.2 miles represents Pat's 42 Arizona State Univ jersey number and the race finishes on the 42 yard line of Arizona State's football stadium.
Billed as the single largest running event in Arizona, the Pat Tillman race
I felt like a finisher before I even saw this!
One of the cool/interesting things about a race this large are all of the people it brings out. While there were 28,000 people who were signed up for the race, I'd guess that easily 1/3 of them were walkers - possibly more. That means that while on the light rail and indeed during the race there were numerous people wearing jeans (even though it was 65 degrees) and I saw the entire gambit of footwear. While I didn't see anyone with a blow-out like last year, converse All-Stars, flip flops, white Velcro orthopedics, and Vans skater shoes were a-plenty as we walked the 4.2 miles.
Like last year, we saw
Flip flops and army boots, this race had ALL footwear
The race overall was really fun - albeit crowded. We threw in a few patches of jogging, but eventually gave up because the course was too narrow (only 1 road lane wide!?) and there were too many groups walking 15 wide.
Coming onto the field. I really felt like a football player
Until I tried to tackle a guy and he punched me in the face
Because I had forgotten my Garmin AND my phone, the finish of the race was a bit anti-climatic. I couldn't text or call any of the local Phoenix blogger crew and really didn't know my finishing time. So, after we crossed the finish line, my wife and I sort of looked at each other and said "whelp, do you want to go home?". I insisted that we get a quick picture to prove that
Chicken legs? Check.
Fortunately, with the delays getting to the starting line and actually running the race, my son was a little trooper all the way home - including on public transportation.
While a bit expensive at 50 bucks, the Pat Tillman run has become almost a Phoenix tradition - so I think I'll be doing it for many years to come.