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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
With so many 5Ks, 10Ks and fun runs happening around Massachusetts, many have tried to stand out in unique and quirky ways. Whether it’s by making runners traverse obstacles courses, encouraging runners to wear zany clothes, having people pretend to be zombies, or throwing powdered balls of color at runners to soak them, it seems every race is looking to differentiate itself from the pack.
But the Camy 5K Run & David 5K Walk doesn’t need any of that, since it has the weather.
On Saturday, the 19th annual 5K, held every second Saturday of November, kicked off in 33-degree temperatures. That didn’t stop the event from having a big turnout, though. As Paul Clerici, who started the race in honor of his grandfather and brother, noted, people have come out in far worse.
“People are showing up, whether, like today, it was 33 degrees to start. In 2004, we had six inches of snow, and then a couple years later, we had over two inches of rain in a hurricane, and people still came out for whatever reason,” explained Clerici. “Whether they wanted to run, support the causes, or just have a good time, it’s become a family-oriented thing, which I like. You’ll see families taking pictures of each other and everything, so that’s really kind of nice. It’s always the second Saturday of November, which is weird, because it’s not really winter - but sometimes it feels like it is.”
While the weather makes the event - but not the turnout - unpredictable, the endgame of the run is always the same. No matter what, it is a fun, competitive race and walk that raises money for a variety of charities.
“It’s named in honor of my grandfather, Camilio, and my brother, David. They both died in 2000, several months apart, so we started the race in honor of them to raise money for a bunch of organizations. [We’ve donated to] the Walpole Food Pantry. We’ve donated money to Brigham and Womens [and] a lot of places over the years, which is nice to spread out the wealth - and it’s turned into a pretty good competitive race. We’ve had some really good fast times and then we’ve had a fun walk, great raffles. The businesses and communities are excellent in donating, and they donate to other people, too, so we really benefit from that.”
One of the recent additions to the race is a 50 yard dash, presenting an opportunity for smaller children who couldn’t make it a full five kilometers to get involved. But the dash has an added benefit as a recruiting tool for future runners.
“We’ve added, several years ago, a free fifty yard dash for kids - like, eleven and twelve or under - and they get a little participant ribbon, which is nice. So we try to be as inclusive as we can, because some of the kids that ran the fifty yard dash a couple years ago are now running the 5K. It’s 33 degrees and we have a good number of walkers, so this town is really good for runners and walkers … these races we have in Walpole are excellent.”
Who won? This year, Norwood’s Eric Kewriga crossed the finish line first, with Walpole’s own Tarsha Smith clocking in as the fastest female runner.
While we may not know what the weather will be for next year’s Camy 5K Run & David 5K Walk, we can be certain that there will be plenty of runners and walkers raising money for some great charities.