Ashvin Lad Participates in Pat's Run 2019

Ashvin Lad is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at Breakwater Chicago. Ashvin participated in this year’s Pat’s Run from the Pat Tillman Foundation. Pat’s Run is the signature fundraising event to support the Pat Tillman Foundation’s Tillman Scholars program. Held annually to honor Pat’s legacy, the 4.2-mile course winds through the streets of Tempe, AZ. All participants finish on the 42-yard line on Frank Kush Field, symbolic of the #42 jersey Pat wore while he was a Sun Devil. We were able to chat with Ashvin about his experience.

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How’d you get introduced to the run?

I had mentioned to a friend of mine that I was unable to take part in a 5k race that I do in my neighborhood every year as I was going to be in Arizona for the Cubs-Diamondbacks series, checking off my 30th and final MLB ballpark. She just happens to work for the Pat Tillman Foundation and told me they were hosting a 4.2-mile run that same weekend in Tempe, so I signed up. I thought it was odd that the race was a 7ish k race until I realized the symbolism in the 4.2 miles itself.

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How was the event — both how did you do and how was the broader event?

It was a great event from the communications leading up to race day, to packet pick up, and to the morning of the race. I didn't run as well as I would have liked to, though. (Take a look at Ashvin’s race results here.) I spent all of the winter on a treadmill, and on the rare days when I went outside, it was 40-50 degrees. I definitely wasn't prepared to go from that to a dry 80-degree heat with some hills. However, I did finish in the top half of both my age group and all runners, so maybe I was being a tad hard on myself. The finish line was the best part. Running uphill, in the tunnel, and then on to the field was exciting. It was a nice course with some very inspirational runners taking part. Afterward, I grabbed my medal, some fruit, drinks, and then sat back and took it all in from the grandstands as other runners crossed the finish line.

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Tell me about your relationship with the Tillman foundation?

Other than a several year friendship with one of the staffers, my relationship with the Foundation is a pretty professional one. Their team sat right next to where my company sits in the 1871 Chicago startup incubator. As such, I got to see a lot of them on a daily basis, chat with them a bit, always giving them a neighborly "hello."

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What’s one thing, in your mind, that people can do for veterans?

I think the biggest thing we can do for our veterans is to help them to get acclimated back into society after their service. Whether it be with career placement, housing, volunteerism, continuing education, or physical and mental support, there is an avenue for everyone to be able to take part in.

To learn more about the Pat Tillman Foundation, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Pat’s Run, click here.

Tom Alexander