LAMPASAS — Lisa Canales-Dibble looks forward to it every year.
While a tragic circumstance surrounds the event, she has grown to eagerly anticipate the “We Run 4 Zac” Memorial 5K and One-Mile Sunset Run/Walk. In its fourth year of existence, the race is dedicated to her son Zac Dibble, who was killed in a four-vehicle accident April 27, 2013.
But Canales-Dibble, who also serves as race director, is not the only person who awaits the annual event.
“One of Zac’s buddies now lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana,” she said, “and he’s making the drive in for the run.
“He said, ‘I’ve been doing it every year, and I won’t miss it.’ It is just so heartwarming to know that Zac is not forgotten.”
Dibble, who graduated from Lampasas High School in 2012, was traveling back to work in the Midland area’s oil fields following a trip home when the fatal accident occurred. He was 19 years old.
In his honor, the Zac Dibble Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to help provide financial assistance for students interested in attending a trade school.
Currently, it is the only scholarship fund in the area dedicated toward trade schools instead of traditional academic institutions.
“There are a lot of kids that want to go to trade schools,” Canales-Dibble said, “and we receive a lot of applications because there are so many who, for education or financial reasons, want to attend a trade school. The time spent there is shorter, and it is more economical, and they can get into the working world a little faster, so we do this to help them.”
In each of the last three years, the fund provided a $2,000 scholarship and two $1,000 scholarships to students from Lampasas or Lometa, and in 2015, an additional $1,000 scholarship was awarded.
Ironically, a majority of the recipients have used the funds to follow in Dibble’s footsteps.
“Zac was looking to go to school for diesel mechanics or welding,” Canales-Dibble said, “and so far, every year, most of our applicants have been looking to get into one of those two things.
“It’s really crazy that the people applying are going the same route he was going.”
The race begins Saturday at 6:30 p.m. On-site registration is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hancock Park pavilion, which also serves as the start and finish of the run.
After departing from the pavilion, the 5-kilometer course goes through Hancock Park and Brooks Park before taking runners around Lampasas’ town square and through parts of the historical downtown area.
The cost is $35, while students 18 years old and younger can register for $25.
In addition to the run and walk, there is a team challenge, where the three fastest times from a five-person group wins an additional award.
Awards are presented to the top three places in each age division of the chip-timed event, and the first 200 to register receive a T-shirt.
Each year, the event has grown in participation, and the community’s dedication to the race is especially meaningful to Canales-Dibble.
“It is just overwhelming how much support has been shown to us over the past three and a half years,” she said, “both as a family and toward this scholarship fund we’re raising the money for.”
For more information, contact Canales-Dibble at 512-556-1491 or Karen Canales at 512-924-2262.