Thousands take part in community event to honor Sun Devil and soldier Pat Tillman, and the efforts of our military and veterans
Nearly 30,000 members of the community took part in the 2017 Pat's Run — the annual race honoring the legacy of Sun Devil and soldier Pat Tillman — in Tempe on Saturday, including a special group of 50 participants wearing shirts inscribed with the names of people who've served as inspiration in their lives.
The members of Team 42 got their shirts Friday evening and wrote the special names on them. Here, a handful of team members explain whose name they wrote and why.
Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now
The annual race, which also honors all who've served and those who support them, is the signature fundraising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides scholarships for veterans and their spouses.
A number of shadow runs around the U.S. in late April accompany the event, which traverses 4.2 miles in Tempe — symbolizing Tillman's No. 42 jersey as a member of the Arizona State University football team from 1994-97. He went on to play with the Arizona Cardinals, leaving his NFL career after 9/11 to join the U.S. Army. The events commemorate the day Tillman died in 2004 in Afghanistan serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
The Pat Tillman Veterans Center also honors Tillman's legacy, providing a number of veteran support resources. It has locations on the Tempe, Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, West and Lake Havasu City campuses, as well as an ASU Online component. For more information about the center’s services, click here.
Explore the fun and activities from this year's Pat's Run in Tempe in the slideshow below.
Kathi Rottener (left), 60, of Beverly Hills, and Dede Drunker, 59, of Oak Park, California, show off their running gear before the start of the annual Pat's Run in Tempe on Saturday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU alumnus Jacob Gallaher, 32, holds a U.S. flag before the start of Pat's Run on Saturday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Runners gather to read the names of fallen soldiers before the start Pat's Run in Tempe.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Sparky greets the first wave of runners at Pat's Run in Tempe.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU theater junior Alicia Doten gets a selfie with Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson at Saturday's race.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Sparky leads runners as they head out of the start line during the annual Pat's Race on Saturday.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
More than 28,000 people participated in Pat's Run on Saturday in Tempe.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
The first runner crosses the Mill Avenue bridge less than 10 minutes after the start of the race.Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now
Runners cross the Mill Avenue bridge. The race's 4.2-mile length symobolizes No. 42, Pat Tillman's jersey number while playing for the Sun Devils.Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now
ASU journalism junior Josh Cutlip gives thumbs-up as he crosses the Mill Avenue bridge during Pat's Run on Saturday.Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now
Pitchforks are also a popular gesture among race participants.Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now
Pat's Run participants enter Sun Devil Stadium for the last stretch of the race, which traditionally ends at the 42-yard line.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Runners get high-fives from the ASU football team as they reach the end of Pat's Run.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Twelve-year-old Zach Hutchins is the first child to cross the finish line at Pat's Run.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Navy veteran and Anthem resident Paul Wagner stands on the Sun Devil football field after completing the race.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU football players Brycen Drenon (left) and Daniel Sanders-Effiong play beanbag toss with Christian Fernandez after the end of Pat's Run.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Autumn Koenig (left) and her cousin Sadie McGuire play under a parachute tarp during the family-friendly activities after the race Saturday in Tempe.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Four-year-old Johnny Cruz learns how to use his hula hoop from ASU community sports management junior Diego Ley while participating in an obstacle course for kids after Pat's Run on Saturday.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
The Larson family takes a photo with Arizona State football players after Pat's Run.Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now
ASU wide receiver Hunter Allen autographs the shirt of 1-year-old Mateo Diaz at the family-friendly celebration after Pat's Run.Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now