With the ninth annual Pat's Run scheduled for Saturday, just days after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, security for the 4.2-mile run in Tempe has become a much-talked-about issue.
The Pat Tillman Foundation, which puts on the event that draws tens of thousands of people each year, issued a statement Tuesday on updated protocols, with the takeaway being that no bags or backpacks will be allowed at the event. While that undoubtedly represents an inconvenience for runners and observers, organizers said safety is at the forefront of priorities, particularly this year.
The full statement reads as follows:
The Pat Tillman Foundation continues to work closely with the City of Tempe and Tempe Police, Arizona State University, Arizona State University Police Department and additional security to ensure the safety of all our participants at this weekends 9th Annual Pats Run. Our protocols are being constantly reviewed and modified as needed to ensure the safety of all in attendance.
"We are asking participants not to bring bags or backpacks to the race venue. Also, participants should report any suspicious activity, people or packages to the nearest security personnel.
"As is the case every year, the Pat Tillman Foundation wants to ensure that the 9th Annual Pats Run continues to be a safe and inspiring event for all our runners, their supporters and the local Tempe community, as we come together to honor Pat Tillmans legacy of leadership, service and action.
Pats Run features a 4.2-mile run and a .42-mile kids run. The course winds through the streets of Tempe, with both events finishing at the 42-yard line inside Sun Devil Stadium.