Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of features on Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon participants leading up to the Sept. 6 race.
Camille Page of Koloa has been running for 10 years.
Her brother Cameron Clapp, from Santa Maria, California, has been pretty active since he was young.
They’ll be running in the Kauai Half Marathon together on Sunday. Both enjoy pounding the pavement, but each does so with different purposes.
“I think just trying to be healthier. I have an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old. Just having kids, your time is kind of limited,” Page said Friday. “I used to surf all of the time before I had kids. I would surf all day and then I would go to work. When you don’t have the time to look for waves all day, you’re like, ‘OK, you have an hour. I’m going to go run.’”
Clapp, on the other hand, stays active as a means of overcoming personal turmoil.
“I was 15 years old, got drunk and hit by a train,” Clapp said over the phone Saturday. “It’s a miracle I survived. I’m really, really lucky.”
From that accident, Clapp lost both of his legs from above the knee and his right arm from above the elbow. After recovery and with the use of prosthetics, he is able to compete.
“It was definitely an extensive recovery process. It was traumatic,” he said. “It was a tragedy, but I’ve been able to transcend that physical adversity and do some amazing things today. And one of those things is running. I love to run.”
Following recovery, Clapp has become a mentor for those similar to him — ranging from handicapped children, fellow disabled athletes to wounded veterans who have returned from war.
“You can make a difference. If you choose not to let that obstacle or barrier that you’re faced with and not let that adversity bring you down … then you have the potential now to be of service to others,” he said.
Page said it was difficult to learn the severity of Clapp’s misfortune, but she was amazed to see him pick himself up and help others.
“It’s rough, for sure. I was living here when I got the call. It’s crazy, especially when he was 15,” she said. “It just puts a good perspective on your life. I don’t expect everybody to be like that, but it definitely makes you be grateful for what you have. It could be worse.”
Clapp will arrive Thursday. Come the day of the race, he and Page will run side-by-side rather than compete against each other and everyone else.
“We’re both pretty outgoing people, but I think this is the first thing in our whole lives that we’ve actually came together and accomplish like one big accomplishment,” Page said. “I’ve been by his side when he’s done things. He’s been by my side while I’ve done things. But this will be the first thing that we do together. I hope we do more.”
Page has run half and full marathons, including the Honolulu Marathon and the Kauai Marathon.
It will be the first time running the Kauai Marathon for Clapp.
“Kauai is like a second home to me,” he said. “I have a lot of brothers, sisters, mom, dad, nieces and nephews that all live out there.
“Most importantly, it’s most meaningful to me because I’ve caused a lot of turmoil with what I’ve been through with my family that I’ve carried them through with me,” he added. “To do something we both have a passion for and to do this together, it is paramount. It’s a magnificent opportunity. It mean’s a lot to me to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to get out there. I’m really going to cherish this memory.”