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Annual Pat's Run honoring Pat Tillman goes virtual during coronavirus

Participants couldn't gather in Tempe for the race, but that didn't stop many from running the annual race on their own to honor Tillman.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Perry Edinger is always ready for race day. He never sleeps the night before, he's too excited to honor his friend, Pat Tillman. 

"It just really kind of brings a tear to your eye that a friend of yours is honored in such a way," Edinger said.

Edinger is the founder of Pat's Run, which began 15 years ago as a way to honor Tillman, a former ASU football player, then Arizona Cardinal, who chose patriotism over an NFL paycheck. 

Tillman was killed in the line of duty in April 2004. 

On Saturday, 30,000 would've gathered in Tempe, on the corner of Packard Drive and Rio Salado Parkway. But, due to coronavirus, the race had to be canceled. 

But, that didn't stop many from running the race on their own and taking to social media to show support.

On Saturday, it didn't matter where the race started or ended. 

After running his Pat's Run, Edinger took some time to reflect.

"I just took a minute to think about Pat, my friend, and I wish you were here," he said. "It's a hard day for some, but it's a great day to honor Pat."

Notably, on Saturday, it was the anniversary of the Arizona Cardinals selecting Tillman in the NFL Draft in 1998.