Pat Tillman Run Attracts Young And Old


Each year since the inception of Pat’s Run in 2005, enthusiasts from around the Rim Country have descended on Tempe to participate in the festive event.

This year, the run — which is held annually in memory of Pat Tillman an Army Ranger killed in action in Afghanistan — will be April 18 near the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

Entrants come from all facets of life — old, young, fast and not so fast.

Those who have participated, know the run is different than other long-distance events, in that most who enter are not the hard core, 0-percent body fat runners you might see speeding along the Valley canal banks.

Instead, the runners are Average Joes who break the stereotypical mold that most envision long-distance runners to be.

In fact, some of the runners don’t normally work out or adhere to physical training regimes.

At the inaugural race a runner at the start of the race promised, “I might pass out, but I will finish.”

That was the spirit event organizers had in mind when Pat’s Run was founded, as a way to honor the former Arizona State University and Arizona Cardinals football star who gave up a $3.8 million pro contract to become an Army Ranger.

The inaugural run drew about 4,000 runners, which grew to 6,000 a year later and about 15,000 last year.

This spring, the run is expected to draw a record-setting 20,000 walkers and runners.

Among the real “highs” of the run is that most leave the course feeling like an athlete, no matter how slow, small or unskilled they might be.

The run has attracted many of the Rim Country’s finest including Payson’s former vice mayor Tim Fruth, Carolyn Fruth, Ashton Wolfe, Vern Havens, Henry Thomason, Steve Montgomery, school board member Rory Huff, ex-PHS basketball star Miles Huff, former Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind, Shannon Bilke, Kay Foster and others.

Wolfe once finished second in her age group, Carolyn Fruth was fourth and Kay Foster 16th.

As fun as the race is, it’s the festivities before and after that lend an air of celebration for Tillman’s life.

Entrants usually hang around for hours after the run reveling in the carnival-like atmosphere.

The proceeds from all Pat’s Runs, benefit the Pat Tillman Foundation that was founded after his death. His widow, Marie, said the foundation was created “to honor Pat’s memory and carry forward his legacy.

“Our goal is to inspire and support others that live their lives with a similar spirit and strive for positive change,” she said.

“Like Pat, the foundation bearing his name is deliberate in developing planned courses of action and will focus its initial efforts on educating America’s next generation of leaders with the ethical foundation and critical-thinking skills they need to drive positive change in themselves and their communities.”

To enter the run or for more information, log on to: http://

Swinging for Gracie

The Gracie Lee Haught Second Annual Golf Tournament will be held May 9 at Payson Golf Course.

The tourney tees off at 8 a.m. with players checking in one hour earlier.

It will be played as a best-ball, four-person scramble and limited to a maximum of 28 teams. The entry fee is $200 per team, $50 per player, which includes 18 holes of golf with cart, an embroidered GLH polo shirt, goodie bag, catered lunch, and door and raffle prizes.

Best of all, the proceeds benefit a great cause — the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

MSA at casino

Mogollon Sporting Association members are continuing to gear up for their annual fund-raising banquet to be held May 2 at the Mazatzal Casino. Doors open for a no-host cocktail hour at 5 p.m. A prime rib dinner, auction and raffles follow.

Over the years, the evening has developed a reputation as being one of the most festive on the Rim Country social scene.

Tickets are $75 each.

MSA members Jack Koon and Ted Pettet say the banquet will feature many quality prizes, raffle and auction items, especially firearms.

The evening is a chance to take home some very nice prizes, enjoy good old-fashioned hometown camaraderie and at the same time, help out a very worthwhile cause.

Tickets are available from any MSA member or by calling Jack Koon at (928) 474-1662.


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