It’s back…
Text by Tyler Phillips

Push your limits! Celebrate Pat Tillman’s legacy of service beyond self
and leadership through action as the 18th annual event returns to the
streets of Tempe and finishes at Sun Devil Stadium this Saturday.

This signature fundraiser for the Pat Tillman Foundation directly supports the Tillman Scholars program, which awards scholarships that can be used at academic institutions across the country. Tillman Scholars are veterans, active service members and their spouses who are committed to service and community.  

Held annually to honor Tillman, the 4.2 mile Run/Walk winds through the streets of Tempe and finishes on the 42-yard line at Sun Devil Stadium. There will also be a 0.42 mile kids run. Participants will receive special memorabilia after completing the race.

Above: The 4.2 mile Run/Walk will be held this Saturday, April 23.


In 2004, the shocking news that Pat Tillman, a former Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals defensive standout, had been killed in action while serving with the elite Army Rangers in Afghanistan rippled through the Valley.

Tillman had walked away from a multimillion-dollar contract offer from the Cardinals to join the Rangers in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Drafted in the seventh round by the Cardinals in 1998, Tillman made national news by putting his career on hold to serve, and he refused interview requests because he didn’t want special recognition for the decision.

After his death, some of Tillman’s closest friends gathered in a Chandler bar and grill to discuss not only how they could honor his sacrifice and remind others of all that he stood for in life, but to make sure his legacy would not be forgotten.

Above: Pat’s Run finishes at the 42-yard line in Sun Devil Stadium.

They settled on an idea for a run in and around Sun Devil Stadium with Tillman’s number at ASU – 42 – as the theme. The run would be 4.2 miles long. It would finish at the 42-yard line in the stadium. The results of that brainstorming session took place on this day in 2005 when more than 5,000 runners and walkers toed the line at the first Pat’s Run honoring Tillman. 

Pat’s Run exploded in popularity and eventually had to be capped at 38,000 entries, including runners and walkers. According to the most recent statistics at it is the largest timed running event in Arizona and among the largest in the country. To get the kids to participate, there’s even a .42 run 

As the single largest fundraising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation, the race funds the Tillman Scholars program, which provides scholarships for military service members, veterans and their spouses dedicated to service and leadership in and out of uniform. To date, there are over 650 Tillman Scholars working in leadership roles nationwide.

For more information, CLICK HERE