Race to finish on Sun Devil Stadium's 42-yard line

Updated: March 29, 2005, 12:01 AM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- More than 1,000 people have signed up for a race next month to honor former Arizona State linebacker and Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman, the university said Wednesday.

"Pat's Run," will be held April 16 on a 4.2-mile course that will finish at the 42-yard line of Sun Devil Stadium where Tillman, the first NFL player killed in combat since Vietnam, wore No. 42 during a spectacular college career that included selection as the Pac-10 defensive player of the year in 1997. He switched to No. 40 during his four years with the Cardinals.

Race director Perry Edinger, a spinal care specialist at Scottsdale Rehab Institute, was Arizona State's head trainer when Tillman was playing for the Sun Devils. He felt a distance run would be in keeping with the athlete's passion for physical activity.

"I tried to find a way to give people a chance to remember Pat and celebrate his life," Edinger said. "Pat was not about golf outings or tennis matches. He was about fitness."

The 27-year-old Tillman died on April 22, 2004, while trying to rescue soldiers pinned down by an ambush 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 2005 by The Associated Press