Sunday, April 22, 2012

P is for Pat's Run

P is for Pat's Run, as in Pat Tillman. Now I am the exact opposite of a sports fan, so if you don't know who Pat Tillman was, I completely understand. Since I live in Arizona, and fairly close to ASU, it's impossible not to know who Pat Tillman was.

Pat Tillman was a Phoenix Cardinals football player that turned down a $3.6 million 3 year contract with the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army after the 9-11 attacks. The army had first reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire and was awarded the silver star. Later, the Pentagon ruled that Tillman was actually killed by friendly fire when the fighting had escalated on both sides. Read more here.

From their website: The Pat Tillman Foundation is a national leader in providing resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members and their spouses. The Tillman Military Scholars program aids all veterans, specifically the ever-growing population of veterans of Post-9/11 conflicts.

Corporal Patrick Tillman.jpg
       Specialist Patrick Daniel Tillman    (source)
Pat's Run is a huge event held at Arizona State University every April. Last year, I had tried to organize a group of work mates, including our head boss, to go down and run it, but planning fell through and then I had gotten horribly sick and couldn't run anyway, so we never went and ran the race.

Since then, my head boss resigned his position from our company after a false alarm heart attack from stress. The doctor at the time had told him that he needed to lose weight or he would die before he reached 60. A month or two ago, he stopped by the office and had lost 50 pounds. He asked me if I was running and I told him I would sign up and run it, too.

Now he and I have always had a love/hate relationship but he told me over and over and over again that I had inspired him with all of my races and that I helped save his life. That might have been a little overly dramatic, but I truly think he was sincere considering the number of times he said it. And he's not one to overly give credit, so I believe he meant those words. And I have to admit: I felt really happy for him when he left my ass in the dirt.

The race is 4.2 miles in honor of Tillman's number when he played for ASU, not when he was a Phoenix Cardinal, which really threw me off when I saw this in the starting corrals:

Tillman was #40 when he played for the Cards
It was really hot in Phoenix this weekend with temps over 100 and not a cloud in the sky, so I was pissed that I had forgotten my sunglasses that morning. I was probably tired and cranky because I had consumed multiple glasses of wine the night before and didn't get home until after midnight when I knew I had to leave my house at 5:30. I never learn.

Arizona State Sun Devil Stadium - also the finish line.

The finish line is at the 42 yard line in the stadium. This is race is incredibly crowded, so even though I was able to run most of it, running the last half mile to the end is nearly impossible with the amount of people being funneled into the stadium. I did manage to sprint the last little bit to the finish line.

After crossing the finish line, I wandered around aimlessly for awhile in the heat trying to figure out where the post race drinks were. I seriously must have tromped around for another good half mile before I realized that you had to hike to the top of the stadium to get water and Powerade. So I got an addition stair workout, too. But it made me grumpy.

Quite a hike up to get water

Over all, I actually liked this race because it was more challenging than a 5K with the additional mile and it was actually very moving. Crossing the finish line in the stadium was fun, too. I just wish it hadn't been so hot. And that I had remembered my sun glasses. And maybe skipped the wine the night before.

Plus, it's always nice to know you've inspired someone to make a difference in their life.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome story related to this race! :)


Thanks for reading!