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By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Saturday, November 10, the Walpole community visited the Walpole Italian-American Club to enjoy a 5K race and support a variety of organizations.
It was the 18th year of the Camy 5K Run & David 5K Walk, and despite the cold and rainy weather, there was still an excellent turnout.
“I think [this event] is awesome,” said one runner at the event, Tom Schneider. “I love local races. It brings the community together.”
“It’s a great race, and a great cause,” added another runner, Kathleen Damish. Damish and her family have participated in the race since it began 18 years ago.
It was a rainy and cold morning for a race, but the runners did not seem to care.
“[The weather] won’t bother me,” said Damish. [They had snow in the past] but we still ran the race.”
“The last race I ran was the Labor Day 5K, also in Walpole, and it was brutally hot and humid, and I was dying,” explained Schneider. “I have never run when it’s been a little cold, so I don’t know what to expect … It’s not pouring. It’s not snowing, so we will go with it.”
The founder and organizer of the event is Walpole resident Paul Clerici. Clerici created the race after losing his grandfather and brother many years ago.
“It’s a nice community [event], even if the weather is bad,” Clerici said. “[The weather] is an annoyance, but it’s not bad.”
In 2004, Walpole had 6.6 inches of snow for the race. A couple of years later, Walpole received 2.2 inches of rain.
Compared to those standards, nobody was complaining.
The annual 5K provides funds for a variety of foundations, such as the Italian-American Club, the food pantry, Norwood Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and many others. Hundreds of members from the community showed up for the race, each paying $20 to $25 to enter the race.
“I approach the 5K like a marathon,” said Schneider. “If I can finish, I’m good.”
The walkers began around 10:00 a.m., and the runners started around 10 minutes after the walkers. There were 120 runners and walkers in total.
Everyone had a great time at the 5K, including the organizers. “18 years is awesome,” said Paul Clerici. “It’s so rewarding. It really is.”