Annual Tillman race to go on, virtually

The 16th Annual Pat's Run, which raises money for the Pat Tillman Foundation, will go on this year -- with a twist.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 4.2-mile race won't be run on the streets of Tempe, Ariz., as planned, on April 18. Instead, organizers on Saturday said they want participants to run in their local communities and share the experiences via social media.

More than 30,000 runners, volunteers and spectators were expected in Tempe, where Tillman was a star football player at Arizona State before playing in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. After the 9/11 attacks, Tillman joined the military and was killed in action in April 2004 in Afghanistan.

"We are prioritizing the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, and staff and are responding to guidance from health and governmental officials," foundation CEO Dan Futrell wrote in a letter to participants.

"On the morning of Saturday, April 18, instead of gathering to run the streets of Tempe en masse, we encourage you to run 4.2 miles individually, wherever you are. Different streets. Same day. Same mission. Since our 2020 run was a sell-out, I see this virtual run as a chance to show our strength in a challenging time, and a chance to get out of the house to run with our virtual community across Arizona and the country."

The race benefits the Tillman Scholar program.

"Tillman Scholars are military service members, veterans and spouses who carry forward Pat's legacy through their work to impact their communities," according to the foundation website.

--Field Level Media