BALLINGER – The Third Annual Justin Byler Memorial 5K Run, Walk and Ride will be held Monday, May 28 and will begin at 8 a.m. at the Ballinger High School parking lot. There is a $25 entry fee per person, which includes a commemorative t-shirt. Entries received by May 21, are guaranteed a t-shirt.

BALLINGER – The Third Annual Justin Byler Memorial 5K Run, Walk and Ride will be held Monday, May 28 and will begin at 8 a.m. at the Ballinger High School parking lot. There is a $25 entry fee per person, which includes a commemorative t-shirt. Entries received by May 21, are guaranteed a t-shirt.

The Ballinger City Council approved the event and the route during their meeting Monday, May 7.

All proceeds go to the Justin Byler Scholarship Fund.

Over the past two years, the event organized by Ballinger graduate and veteran Chad McDuffee, raised over $5,000. Last year there were approximately 100 participants.

This year, participants will be able to honor their loved ones who have served in the military, by paying an extra $4 to have their loved one’s name placed on the back of the t-shirt.

“It is a way for the person running, walking or riding to show they are participating in memory of that person,” McDuffee said.

McDuffee organized the event to honor his friend and fellow serviceman William Justin Byler, who was killed in Iraq on Oct. 31, 2005 when an IED exploded near him. McDuffee, who with Byler was a 2000 graduate of Ballinger High School, said he organized the run because he truly missed his friend. Byler enlisted in 2002.

Byler, who was 23 when he died, was honored by the community and beyond at the time of his death when his service was attended by thousands of mourners.

This year, the Byler family will be presenting some prizes at the end of the event. Other local business will also be furnishing prizes for runners, walkers and riders.

In February of 2011, the community and the Texas Department of Transportation dedicated of six miles of Highway 158 as William Justin Byler Memorial Highway in February of 2011.

McDuffee, an amputee who was injured while serving in Iraq, will lead the run, which will start at 8 a.m. at the Ballinger High School parking lot where all runners, walkers and cyclists will gather. The event will follow the same route as last year and will also end in the high school parking lot.

Participants will be able to leave the event finish line and go straight to the Runnels County Courthouse lawn to partake in the Memorial Day presentation sponsored by the local VFW and American Legion.