By Cameron Small
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
The Camy 5K Run and David 5K Walk were held in Walpole last Saturday, November 12, for the twenty-second consecutive year.
Not even a morning drizzle could stop the registered walkers and runners from the course. The light drizzle during registration had participants in ponchos and longer track pants, but as they assembled at the starting line on Stone Street in front of the Walpole Public Library parking lot, the rain eased up and the sun shone brightly for a relatively dry run.
This year’s race was an easier run than the 2004 race, when the weather brought 6.6 inches of snow overnight prior to race day; or the 2006 race, when the event occurred in “two inches of hard rain from Hurricane Ida,” recounts Paul Clerici.
The race was started in 2001 by Clerici in honor of his grandfather, Camilo “Camy” Clerici, and his brother, David Clerici, both of whom died within nine months of each other in 2000. A short race for kids, named after Camy’s widow, Rosina, who passed in 2006, is held before the 5K begins.
Since its inception, the race has been held annually on the second Saturday in November — even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Camy/David 5K also holds the honor of having been the only official in-person, on-the-course road race in Massachusetts in 2020.
This year’s race was dedicated to Bill Squires, a member of the USA Track and Field (USATF) Hall of Fame and Greater Boston Track Club coach, who passed away in June of this year. Part of the money raised will go to a track fund in honor of Squires to help provide athletic scholarships. Other benefactors of the money raised by the Camy/David 5K include the Walpole Food Cupboard, the Walpole Italian-American Club/Society, and the Carol Hunt-Clerici Chamber Music Series Clerici Quartet.
Race participation is not solely confined to Walpole community members. Racers came from all over, including local communities of Medfield, Millis, Walpole, Natick; and some less local communities, including Saugus, Woonsocket, RI, Johnson RI, and Hinsdale, NH.
Mark D’Amico takes pride in being one of the only ones, aside from race founder Paul Clerici, to have participated in all twenty-two races.
Candy W., meanwhile, has completed the race a few times — though this is the first time in approximately six years that she has participated. When asked what she was looking forward to about getting back into the race, she said, “Completing it.”
The course is not the exact same as it was when it started. “We changed it [to get it to be] a U.S.A.T.F Certified Course,” Paul Clerici said.
It is a great thing to see people return for the race. Paul Clerici commented that some of the kids who participated initially in the Rosina Fun Run for Kids have since participated in the Camy/David 5K itself.
Congratulations to all the racers and finishers of this year’s 5K, and a special congratulations to Corey Hebert of New Bedford, MA for finishing first overall with a time of 18:17.