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Berwick Run for the Diamonds

Thursday November 25th, 2021
Berwick, PA
Distance: 9 miles

112th 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
Prize Money: $2,000

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Race Date: 11/26/2020 Distance: 9 miles
Division Time Name Age Home
Male 46:33 Colin Leak 31 CHADDS FORD
2nd Male 46:48 Alex Price 27 BETHLEHEM
3rd Male 47:09 Trevor Conde 30 EASTON
4th Male 48:03 Paul Thistle 32 CAPITOL HEIGHTS
Female 54:43 Marina Martino 25 DALLAS
2nd Female 55:43 Rosie Mascoli 27 WAYNE
3rd Female 56:06 Emily Shertzer 42 JONESTOWN
4th Female 56:29 Claire Schocn 23 SCRANTON
Division Time Name Age Home
M 40-49 51:44 Joey Zins 42 EXPORT
M 50-59 1:00:49 Paul Leonard 55 SCRANTON
M 60-69 59:47 Greg Cauller 63 YORK
M 70+ 1:17:53 Neil Policelli 71 BANGOR
F 40-49 56:06 Emily Shertzer 42 JONESTOWN
F 50-59 1:08:38 Laura Yoder 54 FLEETWOOD
F 60-69 1:10:34 Kate Fisher 61 WATSONTOWN
F 70+ 1:33:30 Barbara Zeske 72 HANOVER TWP
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.

Copyright 2021