Marie Tillman talks Pat’s Run, motherhood

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan defending this great country.

Saturday morning in Tempe, people will honor Tillman in Pat’s Run with all proceeds benefitting the Pat Tillman Foundation. The 5,000 participants in 2005 has now blossomed to 28,000 this year. Some who hoped to run/walk were turned away simply because the run reached its occupancy level.

Spearheading the efforts, which have raised more than $4 million over the years, is Tillman’s widow Marie who has taken a more active role in the foundation over the recent years. She says Pat’s Run is always a special event and serves as another way to honor her late husband’s legacy.

“It’s a great weekend for all of us,” Marie told Brad Cesmat Friday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “[We have] a lot of family and friends coming in to participate in Pat’s Run. It’s really amazing to see how far the event has come and to see the people come from all over to participate. It’s great.”

Tillman has also kept busy completing her memoir, which will be released June 26. It focuses on moving forward after Pat’s death and her struggles putting her life back together.

From those dark times there is now light in her life as she recently became a mother for the first time. She is married, but opted to keep Tillman as her last name.

“I had a little boy three months ago,” she explained to Cesmat. “It’s been one more step in a crazy journey, that’s for sure.”

The 4.2 mile run fittingly ends on the 42-yard line at Sun Devil Stadium. Pat Tillman wore number 42 from 1994-97 before becoming a seventh-round pick of the Cardinals in the spring of 1998.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.

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