People run in a race.

Racers run through the starting line during the 2022 SSGT Javier Ortiz Memorial 5K and Run June 18, 2022. (EMC file photo)

Annual 5K race in Rochester honors fallen Marine

Runners and walkers are invited to lace up their sneakers to honor Rochester’s fallen soldiers and to help grieving military families.

The 2023 SSGT Javier Ortiz Memorial 5K Race and Walk is June 17 at Seneca Park, 2222 St. Paul St., Rochester.

The 5K race/walk begins at 9 a.m., while the children’s fun run gets underway at 10:15 a.m.

Runners can register and pick up packets in person from 1 to 6 p.m. June 16 at Burgos Income Tax, 1816 N. Clinton Ave., or register starting at 8 a.m. June 17 at Longhouse shelter at Seneca Park. Participants also can register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Rochester/SSGTJavierOrtizMemorial5KRaceWalk. Cost for the race is $20 in advance and $25 the day of. There is a processing fee of $2.50 when registering online. The children’s fun run is free, and no prior registration is required.

Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in each age group.

Javier Ortiz, of Rochester, was a U.S. Marine staff sergeant and platoon leader who was killed Nov. 16, 2010, by an IED roadside bomb while deployed in Afghanistan. He was 26 years old. Originally a fundraiser for the Rochester Puerto Rican Festival, the event was renamed in 2011 to honor Ortiz and now serves to honor all of Rochester’s fallen military servicemen and servicewomen.

All proceeds from the event will go to TAPS, which stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. The organization provides care and resources to the families of fallen military service personnel.

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