Joey Muñoz

Martin High School
Texas Relays Biathon Champion
4th of July Memorial Run
25 years and counting


Joey Munoz was born to Esteban and Rosa Vasquez Munoz on December 6, 1963 in Wiesbaden, Germany where his father was stationed at Fort USAG Wiesbaden. Upon returning to the United States, Joey attended Alma Pierce Elementary School, Christen Junior High School, and Martin High School where he excelled in cross country and track and also played football for the Tigers. He attended Laredo Junior College and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. 

While in high school Joey became a district champion in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles. Beyond high school Joey remained athletically active and competitive by running in local 5K and 10K races which led to his love of triathlons. It was during this time in his life that Joey teamed up with one of his high school teammates, Joe Navarro, to compete in several biathlon relays where he and Navarro would eventually become Texas Champions in the Coors Light Biathlon Series in the mid 1980’s. Upon graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988, Joey married his long time sweetheart Patricia Tamez, earned his Custom Brokers License, and began working for his father’s Custom Brokerage firm. He never stopped exercising and competing in numerous endurance events. More importantly, he encouraged young runners of all abilities to continue exercising and participating in all kinds of running and biking events. 

At the peak of his athletic endeavors, Joey’s life was cut short when he was killed by a drunk driver in the summer of 1990 while training for his next race. Joey was only 26 years old when he died. His death was a tragic blow to his loving friends and family and to the entire running and biking community. 

As a tribute to Joey and in his honor, Joey’s friends and family started an annual event, The Joey Munoz 4th of July Memorial Run a non-profit event where all the proceeds were used to assist and support the local youth and running community in the form of gifts, scholarships, and donations to local running organizations. Just as important for the organizers was to document the dangers of drunk driving. 

The event was held for over 25 years up until the covid epidemic altered the landscape for these types of large gatherings. His friends and family still found a way to individually commemorate his passing, with runners participating from all corners of the city, state and nation. It is Joey’s friends and family’s hope to bring back “The Joey Munoz 4th of July Memorial Run” to continue to honor the legacy left behind by a young man who loved running, motivated friends to start working out, and who supported the fitness community of Laredo.

His family and friends continue to be inspired by his life, his legacy and his desires for his community. Her is an inspiration to all who knew him, and all who run in his honor every year.

Help us make our museum a reality. Please donate.

Proposed museum location is downtown Laredo, Texas, intersection, Farragut at Juarez Ave.