Last year, after cheerleading me through my first Pat’s Run, my mom said she wanted to do it this year and last weekend, she kept her promise to herself.
Pat’s Run is a crazy big race in Tempe to honor the Arizona State and Cardinals football player, Pat Tillman, who gave up his NFL contract after 9/11 to join the Army Rangers with his brother and was killed by friendly fire, which was then covered up. That’s the short story, but seriously, read Where Men Win Glory.
His football number was 42, so it’s a 4.2 mile race (and the kiddos have their own .42 mile race), it’s in the spring, it’s reasonably priced and it’s just a good time.
It is a little crazy with the 28,000 participants and I had to wake up at 4:30 to get to the lightrail at 5:30 to avoid a crazy traffic situation and spring weather is actually hit or miss in Arizona and both years I’ve done it, it was HOT, but I’d say it’s worth it.
I signed up to run with my mom and we were in the first of the joggers’ corrals, which took about 40 minutes to start…many people were finishing as we were just starting! Fortunately, ASU recently covered the starting parking lot with solar panels, so at least we were shaded while we were waiting, but eventually, we snaked our way up to the start line and we were off.
My mom had been training with the Couch to 5K, so she was ready for race day and I followed her lead (despite her telling me to go ahead) for alternating running and walking. She was really good about walking for a bit and I probably would have kept walking, but then she’d pick up the pace and we were off jogging again. Her mental grit was awesome!
We ran the first mile, intervaled the second and third, then decided to run the last 1.2 miles, although we ended up walking into the stadium because it was really congested. My mom even got bumped by some guy with a jogging stroller who decided the narrow pathway and slower pace didn’t apply to him…really, dude?!
Oh, and yeah, the end of the race takes you into Sun Devil Stadium and you cross the end zone and run onto the field, finishing at the 42-yard line. When you’re outside heading in, it just seems like such a party, you REALLY want to get in there. There were volunteers and spectators cheering us on, there were ASU players giving our free high-fives (FREE!) as we went across the finish line. The energy (patriotism + local love + fun + football) at Pat’s Run is amazing!
We finished in 56:23, a 13:23 pace, and were promptly rushed out of the Stadium party (can’t very well have 28,000 people just standing around in there), got some refreshments and walked around the festival for a while before heading back to the lightrail.
Then we treated ourselves with Starbucks, mani/pedis and The Habit. The Habit is a fantastic burger (and veggie burger and chicken sandwich) place that was within walking distance of both of my apartments in California and FINALLY has opened a location in Arizona, just a mile from my parents house. Yum.
Unfortunately, the race high that came with the finish has been met with crickets, race season is over (unless, you’re a crazypants and are doing a mud run in May that doesn’t even start until 9, eek), but I think my mom’s and my motivation for our next races will survive the summer heat and we’ll be ready to fill our race calendars for next fall and winter!
[Obviously, I still haven't figured out the "carry the camera and/or phone during a race" thing, so no pics, but when the race posts theirs, I hope to grab some good ones!]