BY BILL BULL
BERWICK, PA--The first Run For the Diamonds Nine Miler was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1908. The race at that time, and until 1981, was called the Berwick Marathon. For much more information about the race, read the book Run For the Diamonds 100 Years of Footracing in Berwick, Pennsylvania by author Mark Will-Weber.
This years race, in many ways, can be described as big. The race entrants and finishers were big: 1414 and 1308, respectively. This was about 200 more than last years record field. It took a big kick from Max Smith to gain a slight edge in the last mile over three other runners. It also took a big, almost record run, from Maureen McCandless to win the Womens Division.
All-Americans also dominated the Top Three places to pace a record field of 516 women entrants.
Tony Lawson won the Mens Local Title for the tenth year in a row. Lawson is tied with Bill Bull for the most consecutive local victories.
Miranda Hildebrand passed Alex Bull with less than two miles to go to successfully defend her local title.
The Berwick Marathon Association would like to thank all the runners, volunteers, sponsors, and fans of this 100th Anniversary race.
See you for the 100th running!
50th Annual C.W. Heller Memorial Schoolboy 5K:
The Oldest Schoolboy Road Race in the Nation
BY BILL BULL
BERWICK, PA--In 1959, the Berwick Marathon (Run For The Diamonds) was celebrating the 50th running of the race. As part of the festivities, C. Wilfred Bill Heller had the idea of conducting a shorter race for high school students. That Fall, Heller had coached the Berwick Cross-Country Team in its inaugural season. The Marathon Association Committee was in agreement. The race course was set to follow the Marathon and turn around part-way up The Hill for a total of 4.6 miles. The start was five minutes after the nine miler. By 1980, the Marathon had grown so much that it was deemed impossible to conduct both races on Thanksgiving. The Schoolboy Race was moved to the Saturday before Thanksgiving. For the Berwick Bi-Centennial in 1986, a childrens mile was added. During the 1990s, more childrens races were added. There are a total of nine races conducted, now, with over 400 children entering!
This years winners, Chris Brandt (Danville) and Katie Sick (Millville) took a page out of the same playbook. They both ran with a small group until about a half-mile into the race. After that, both gradually pulled away for comfortable victories. Following Brandt were Andrew Hess, Adam Brobst, and Jeff Huss; all finishing under 18 minutes. Following Sick were Jayme Daly, Alex Bull, Alexandra Petsuck, and Abby Bull; all finishing under 21 minutes.
The Berwick Marathon Association would like to thank all the volunteers who help to make this race a success.