BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Many events have been canceled this year due to the pandemic, however, the oldest race in Pennsylvania is still on. The Annual Run for the Diamonds will be held on Thanksgiving in Berwick this year.
Good news for runners, as the 111th Run for the Diamonds will still be held this year. Since 1908, the race has only been canceled twice, in 1918 and 1919, due to the Spanish Flu. Organizers say they weren’t sure if this year’s pandemic would stop the race, until last week.
“We voted to what we call a hybrid race. A regular race but also have the option to be virtual, so you don’t have to be at the race starting line,” Bill Bull, president of Berwick Marathon Association, said.
People will be able run the race from anywhere, as long as they registered before Sunday night. For the people who choose to run in Berwick, there are precautions in place to keep them and others safe from the virus.
“We are providing these gaitors to every single runner. I’m sure most people have masks. I’d be surprised if they didn’t, but we wanna make sure. We wanna provide them with this. We are having all race pick up outside. Nothing is held inside,” Bull said.
There won’t be an awards ceremony this year to avoid big gatherings and starting lines and starting times will be staggered for space.
This year has been a difficult year for many. That’s why organizers tell Eyewitness News it’s important to keep things as normal as possible, which includes holding this race.
“We’d just like to see the tradition to continue and give something positive this year in a year that there hasn’t been a lot of positive,” Bull said.
The top seven finishers will receive diamonds. The virtual race can be run anytime from Thanksgiving to the following Sunday.