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Berwick Run for the Diamonds

Thursday November 28th, 2019
Berwick, PA
Distance: 9 miles

109th Run For The Diamonds 9 mile race takes runners through the town of Berwick, a course which has not been changed since it's inaugural event.

Berwick Run for The Diamonds is a nine-mile foot race starting and ending on Market Street in downtown Berwick, Pennsylvania. It is held every year on Thanksgiving Day since 1908.

The first race had only 13 participants. The course has remained essentially unchanged since 1908, running up a very challenging hill and through the countryside of Summerhill. No women competed officially until 1972 when two women ran. The one hundredth running of the annual event was held in 2009. It was canceled twice due to World War I in 1918 and 1919.

The race was called the "Berwick Marathon" until the 1970s and 1980s. But since the race is too short to qualify as a marathon, and winners receive diamonds as part of their prize, the name was changed to "Run for the Diamonds".

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Berwick Run for the Diamonds

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Race Date: 11/22/2018 Distance: 9 miles
Division Time Name Age Home
Male 46:06 Matt Gillette 26 OREFIELD, PA
2nd Male 47:10 Trevor Vanackeren 28 BETHLEHEM, PA
3rd Male 47:23 Kielan Sutton 24 SHAVERTOWN
4th Male 47:40 Chris Mccabe 27 CARLISLE
Female 55:04 Zoe Matherne 23 CARLISLE
2nd Female 56:05 Christy Peterson 40 N WALES
3rd Female 56:06 Katherine Sick 25 MILLVILLE
4th Female 56:17 Hannah Coffin 23 BIRMINGHAM
Division Time Name Age Home
M 40-49 56:38 Sean Robbins 47 DALLAS
M 50-59 58:03 Patrick Singletary 52 STATE COLLEGE
M 60-69 1:02:21 Mike Smith 63 LEBANON
M 70+ 1:26:46 Terry Larson 71 TURBOTVILLE
F 40-49 56:05 Christy Peterson 40 N WALES
F 50-59 1:00:35 Lori Kingsley 52 WYSOX
F 60-69 1:18:31 Valerie Maugle 61 FOUNTAINVILLE
Berwick Run for the Diamonds

In this modern world of professional runners, televised marathons, and hundred-dollar racing shoes, Berwick, Pennsylvania’s Run for the Diamonds has the authenticity of an old boxing gym. A nine-mile race with a grueling two-mile uphill, contested on Thanksgiving since 1908, this is a throwback event that reflects the history of running in America.

Some of the world’s greatest runners have competed at Berwick. Boston legend Johnny Kelley said, “Except for the Boston and Olympic marathons, there is no race that I would rather win than Berwick.”

The first race was contested between the locals over unpaved roads and followed by a “referee” on horseback. The frontrunner in 1909 was a diminutive Hopi named Louis Tewanima, who became the race’s first star. (Although he was captured by the US Cavalry in 1906 and forced to attend Carlisle Indian School, Tewanima went on to win an Olympic silver medal for the United States.)

Berwick also attracted some of Finland’s greatest runners—Hannes Kolehmainen (the first “Flying Finn”) and Ville Ritola (the “Flying Wolf”), both of whom went on to win Olympic gold medals.

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