Pat’s Run is a ‘must do’ race for anyone in the Phoenix metro area. Registration numbers are already higher than last year’s, and with approximately 25,000 participants expected, it’s vital to know what to expect for the race.
- Pick up your packet beforehand. Early packet pick-up is available for 3 days before the race, Wednesday through Friday from 8AM to 7PM just to the north of the stadiums. Save yourself the stress of having to do everything at once and fighting the crowds on Saturday morning. This also gives you a great chance to scope out the area for mental preparation and excitement.
- Don’t shoot for a PR. This is not a race to attempt an all out, gung-ho, full speed race experience. The 4.2 mile distance will not compare to any other race you’ll ever run, and no matter how much organizers try, there will be walkers, strollers, and groups of people strung 8 across blocking your way at the front of the pack. Run well and enjoy the race, but don’t get caught up in your need for speed.
- It’s ok to wear the race shirt to the race. This is one of the very few races where it is socially acceptable to wear the participant shirt to the race itself. Almost everyone who participates wears the shirt, and you’ll be a part of the giant movement to support and honor Pat Tillman.
- Be prepared for the stairs. At the end of the race, inside the stadium, there’s a bit of a bottleneck. First time runners often do not know where to go, or that they are to keep moving, and groups of people are trying to find each other. You’ll want to follow the ushers shouting directions, by climbing up the stairs of the stadium to the upper concourse. Be prepared that your legs are still going to have to do some work after the race.
- Allow time for parking, especially when leaving. The parking around the stadiums is very well organized race morning. You’ll see big groups of people gathered to tailgate even, but with the numbers of vehicles in the area, you’ll need to chill out and give yourself plenty of time to make your way out of the parking lots after the race.
- Enjoy yourself. Soak up the experience of being on the football field. Move with the other runners around you in a unified movement. Thank the volunteers along the course. Take in the cool morning sun. Give high-fives to the football team. Take pictures. Grab the free ice cream at the end. Share the experience with your family and friends.
Once you’ve been a part of Pat’s Run, you’ll have completed a major requirement of being a runner in the Phoenix area, and you’ll be back year after year.
If you have any insider tips to add, leave a comment, and share the advice!
For more information:
- Visit the Pat Tillman Foundation’s website here.
- For more information about Pat’s Run, see Race to Run – Pat’s Run.