Race to honor Tillman draws a crowd

Updated: March 27, 2006, 10:25 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- More than 1,800 people have registered for a 4.2-mile race next month to honor former Arizona State linebacker and Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman, the race's director said.

It just gives people a chance to get together, have fun and share stories about Pat.
Perry Edinger, race founder

"People are really excited about it," said race founder and director Perry Edinger, a spinal care specialist at Scottsdale Rehab Institute who was Arizona State's head trainer when Tillman played for the Sun Devils. "I wanted to find a way to remember him that would get people up and moving. It just gives people a chance to get together, have fun and share stories about Pat."

Edinger estimated that more than 8,000 people will participate in "Pat's Run," which will be held April 15 on a 4.2-mile course that will finish at the 42-yard line of Sun Devil Stadium. Tillman wore No. 42 as a Sun Devil, earning the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award in 1997, before switching to No. 40 during his four years with the Cardinals.

The race entry fee is $25, with proceeds going to the Pat Tillman Foundation, which has endowed scholarships at Arizona State. A .42-mile kids' run is free. Registration is available online at www.patsrun.com.

Last year, the inaugural race raised more than $225,000, Edinger said. The race was so popular that organizers have added one April 30 in San Jose, Tillman's hometown.

The 27-year-old Tillman died on April 22, 2004, in a friendly fire incident during combat operations in Afghanistan. He walked away from a $3.6 million NFL contract to volunteer for the Army Rangers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press