Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pat Tillman 4.2 Mile Race Report!

People who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty are often thought of as heroic.  Not only for their actions, but also for what might have been.  Lincoln and JFK are two great examples - Pat Tillman is another.

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 offered numerous opportunities to 'accidentally' get to 2nd base offered large crowds, a POST race expo (with free Jamba Juice!), and 30 corals to keep everything organized.  Unfortunately, this meant that it took us nearly 40 minutes to the starting line.  Bummer. Fortunately though, this year I didn't have to go pee while waiting in the corals - and therefore didn't pee behind a dumpster along the course......so no risk of indecent exposure!

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 quite a few armed forces in full gear both running and walking the race.  There was a Marine corps group that was running in formation and a number of Army men/women walking with full 50 pound packs.

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 I actually do have people willing to spend time with me we actually did complete the race.

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.

18 comments:

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

Wow. Great race to be a part of. Your son is adorable!

Nobel4Lit said...

I didn't know about this race at all... seems very fun/energizing.

The Banter said...

Good race report. BTW, where's the baby's race number? Trying to check his results on line and failing miserably.

http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/

Karen said...

No offense, but the best part of your report is the pic of your son at the end :) He is too cute!!!!

Kate said...

I say this every time you post a picture of him, but that kid is adorable!

Really a cool sight to see the balloons and all those shirts with his number.

tahoegirl said...

No fair. I can't take any more pictures of your son. He is just too cute! Love that so many people participate in events like this!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Cute son! Cool race!

The Green Girl said...

What an awesome race. And I agree, your son is adorable and he looks really happy!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

What an awesome race. Maybe they can have it split with runners 15minutes ahead of the walkers in the future?

Tricia said...

walkers,runners,shoes,blah blah

CUTE BABY!

thats what I came by for

C2Iowa said...

Great smile he has.

jess said...

Wow, what a wonderful race cause y'all walked for and a hero too! Y'all have good hearts!

and of course your son is so handsome. Are you sure he is yours? :))
(kidding, of course!)

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Your son is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cute.

Laura said...

Looks like you had great weather for the race! That is a TON of people in one race. But free Jamba Juice? Yum! Hope you brought stuff to spike it.

Chris K said...

Hayden looks like he just had a big poop and knows that Dad has to clean it up.

JessiePants said...

Well done to you and your lovely wife, what a good cause/race!

Her Name Is Rio said...

Hayden is so frickin' cute!

Melissa Fleury said...

Will you be running Pat's Run tomorrow? I'll be running, and my daughter (3) will be there to run in her first race too. :) One thing I noticed in your post... lots of people wearing their race day shirts, which I haven't noticed as much at other races. Is this something they encourage for this event?