By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – Blue ribbons decorated the Hudson High School (HHS) parking lot entrance on a sunny June 9 when over 1,000 runners and walkers started and finished the second annual Trooper Thomas Clardy Memorial Run/Walk. The fundraiser featured 5K and 2.5-mile courses. Proceeds benefit the Trooper Thomas Clardy Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Clardy was killed in the line of duty at age 44 in 2016 while an 11-year state police veteran. Also an Army and Marine Corps veteran, he lived in Hudson with his wife Reisa and their six children. Once again serving as race director, his widow expressed her gratitude to supporters during an opening ceremony.
Emceeing the ceremony was Jim McKenna, president of Highland City Striders, the Hudson-Marlborough-based running club that helps organize the event. McKenna led a moment of silence for the law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty this year. Their names were printed on placards posted on the grounds.
Opening remarks were provided by Col. Kerry Gilpin, state police superintendent. Sgt. Jamie Conner sang the national anthem. Ninety-two representatives of the Massachusetts State Police Academy took part in the run/walk. The mobile unit of the Massachusetts State Police Museum and Learning Center of Grafton was stationed onsite for participants to visit.
Medals were presented to runners in several age categories by Reisa Clardy and her son Tyler, a 2016 St. John’s High School graduate and rising junior at UMass Amherst. Assisting them with the presentations was Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito after she ran the 5K race.
Finishing the 5K first overall in 16.33 was Ryan Carrara of Hudson, founder of the Battle Road Track Club. Heather Cirka of Hudson was the first-place female, finishing in 20.23. In addition to a medal and trophy, each received a $100 gift card for Sneakerama.
Activities concluded with a Mighty Mite Marathon for ages 2 to 6 with ribbons given to each finisher.
The first Clardy memorial scholarships were recently awarded to five 2018 HHS graduates: Lauren Gasek, Jessica Gordon, Garet Hayward-Mildish, Thomas Hydro and Olivia Tomyl.