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By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter
More than 100 members of the community of all different ages were up early Sunday morning running in the first ever R.A.D. Run on South Street outside the Walpole Police Department.
Runners participating were raising money for R.A.D. (rape aggression defense) programs at the Walpole Police Department. The department offers R.A.D. defense classes, which teach self defense components, risk assessment, risk reduction, and risk awareness.
There were two different races: the first was a one-mile run kicked off at 9 a.m., and the second a five kilometer run that began half an hour later.
Kate Shane, who just finished first grade, ran in the one-mile race and said it was hard, but also fun. After finishing the mile run, she cheered on runners of the five kilometer run with her father, Mark Shane, as they waited for her mother to finish.
Mark Shane was impressed by the large showing from the town.
“I’m glad the weather held up, and I’m glad we had such a great number of people come to support the community. The police do a great job, and it will be good to get more funding for the R.A.D. classes,” Shane said.
After younger participants finished running, they made their way to “Copsicle 1,” an ice cream truck that members of the Chelsea Police Department were operating, for cold treats.
Sarah Shane and Keri Cerrato played a large role in setting up the run, and worked alongside officers at the Walpole Police Department to set up the race. The two were inspired to give back after taking the R.A.D. class. Realizing how empowering the program was, they wanted to be able to provide as many others with the chance to participate as possible.
Walpole Chief of Police John Carmichael said the help from Shane and Cerrato, along with the help from countless others, was instrumental in helping ensure the success of the first-ever R.A.D. Run.
“We always wanted to do a road race,” Carmichael said. “They thought they could give back … [to] the program, and as a result, they started to look into it and worked with our officers. And we came up with the R.A.D. Run.”
Sarah Shane believes support from many people played an important role in the success of the event. “It’s pretty incredible to get so much support all around from the sponsors, from the community, from the police department - and it’s for such a great cause,” she said.
The R.A.D. program has been taking place for more than a decade, and the Walpole Police Department now has 12 certified R.A.D. instructors.
Sergeant Jackie Hazeldine, who helped with the event, was moved by the support from the community.
“This is overwhelming,” she acknowledged. “It’s nice to know the town is supporting us like this.”