I imagine that most of us have walked 3,000 miles in our lifetimes, but not in a straight line, and not all at once. If you happen to see Rory Fanning today, say hi.
Fanning is a former Army Ranger and friend of Pat Tillman, the Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals star who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in April 2004. In his memory, and to raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation, Fanning has spent every day since Sept. 17 walking westward from Virginia Beach, Va., averaging 20 miles per day in a trek that will end in Huntington Beach, Calif.
"It's really the best thing I've ever done," said Fanning, who is in Tempe, Ariz., today for the fifth annual Pat's Run on Saturday. If you're thinking of going, the 4.2-mile race begins outside Sun Devil Stadium and ends within on the 42-yard line (Tillman wore No. 42 at Arizona State). Fanning will be the race starter.
Along the way Fanning has talked to high school students, prisoners and anyone who will listen on the legacy left by Tillman, who can't be honored enough in my humble opinion. Fanning met Tillman when the two were training for the army in Fort Lewis, Wash.
Fanning's goal is to raise $3.6 million for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which is the contract amount Tillman turned down from the Cardinals to join the Army Rangers.
And to think I get winded walking from the train station to the front entrance of AT&T Park.
Man On Cross-Country Trek To Honor Tillman [NBCSports]