Coronavirus not slowing down ‘Run for the Diamonds’ racers

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BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Many Thanksgiving Day traditions were put on hold this year, but an annual race in Berwick, Columbia County is still happening.

Organizers decided not to cancel the annual Diamond Run. The Run for the Diamonds went off without a hitch in Berwick.

“For everything going on in the world today, I’m just happy to be out here,” runner Chris Watas said.

Since 1908, the race has only been canceled twice, in 1918 and 1919, because of the Spanish Flu. This year, precautionary measures were put in place to ensure everyone’s safety. At the end of the day, organizers say the race was perfect for social distancing.

“Once the race has started, you’re almost by yourself. You’re stretching 500 to 600 runners over nine miles,” Timing Company co-owner Bob Welby said.

But, if you weren’t comfortable racing in person, you have options.

“There’s also something called the virtual run. You can run anytime between now and Sunday and send us your time and we’ll put it on the website,” Welby said.

Hundreds of runners raced Thursday. The top seven finishers received diamonds but, for some people, it was just about doing what they love.

“My season got cancelled so I haven’t been able to race really, so just being able to get a race in is great,” seventh-place finisher Casey Ellis said.

Great to be able to continue at least one Thanksgiving tradition, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

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