Camillus Honors Veterans Through Memorial Day 5K Run Camillus Memorial Day 5k run

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (NCC News) — This isn’t your typical 5K run.

The race kicks off right before the Camillus Memorial Day parade. Runners are met with cheers from spectators from the very beginning, unlike traditional races where applause is usually heard only at the finish.

Rosemarie Nelson, director of the 5k, says the parade committee is sensitive to noise, aiming to maintain focus during the Main Street ceremony honoring fallen service members.

Although the 5K starts nearby, it’s the spectators’ excitement that generates most of the noise. 

“There’s that moment of everyone just understanding what this is all about and the gun salute. I think that brings people back to it’s not just a three-day holiday for a barbecue. They have something that came before this that has meaning,” said Nelson. 

The point-to-point race started on West Genesee Street, where the 1996 Olympic Torch once traveled, and finished at the historic Sims Store along the Erie Canal.

Emily Young crossed the finish line as the top female runner. 

“My grandpa and brother were in the military, so running for them and everyone who served is pretty cool,” said Young.

The top male runner, Nolan Chiles, had slightly different reasons for running. His run was both a homecoming and a trip down memory lane.

“For me, it’s about coming home. I would say, I ran this particular race when I was at seven with everyone that’s here now. I came in last in my family, so it’s nice to come back and redeem myself. And show whose boss now?” said Chiles.

With a family background in the military, co-director of the 5k Mary Luber emphasized the significance of the race.

She notes that each runner receives an American flag pin at the finish line, celebrating both their achievement and the spirit of Memorial Day. 

“The pins just keep reminding people of the sacrifice people have made so that we can live the way we live here in Camillus, the state of New York and the country of the USA,” said Luber.

The Veterans Memorial Day 5K Run in Camillus continues to be a beloved tradition, bringing together runners and spectators in a shared celebration of community and patriotism.

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