DIANNA GOLDEN AND JEFF BRANDT ARE
OFF THE LINE. GOLDEN WILL RACE TO
THE VETERANS RACE TOP SPOT, AND
BRANDT WILL BE SECOND IN HIS AGE
GROUP.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
All-Americans Run for the Diamonds

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 year’s 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 year’s 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 Women’s Division.

Men’s Race

 

PAUL LEONARD, THE TOP MASTERS
FINISHER IN 51:44.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Each year, thousands of fans line the course to cheer on the runners. Four runners entered a tunnel of fans, at the eight-mile mark, in a tight group. As they raced onto Market Street, with nine-tenths of a mile to go, New Zealander, Max Smith surged ahead using his 3:56 mile speed and won in 45:58. Ryan Place (Meshoppen, PA) tried to stay in contact, eventually finishing second just five second later. Both Smith and Place were All-Americans in college at Providence and Meadville, respectively. John Butler (Mechanicsburg, PA) finished seven seconds later and for the second year in a row, former winner, Fred Joslyn (Rochester, MI) finished fourth a mere one second behind Butler. The top four runners all finished within thirteen seconds! “We were running sub-five minute miles over the first two miles of the race. But going up the hill, we were running about a six-minute pace. Then, on the downhill, we were running near a four-flat pace,” said Smith. Smith had been doing enough speed work mixed in with distance training to pull off the win. “The training mix I have been doing definitely helped. When I kicked it in, I had enough to finish strong and hold on for the win!” added Smith. Mark Stallings, Washington Borough, PA, Terrance Shea, Cambridge, MA, and Andrew Cloke, Elmira, NY, rounded out Top Seven Diamond Ring winners.

Women’s Race

All-Americans also dominated the Top Three places to pace a record field of 516 women entrants.

 

MAUREEN MCCANDLESS, NEARLY
BREAKING THE RACE RECORD IN 51:01.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Maureen McCandless, Bensalem, PA and Pitt, used her 15-minute 5K speed to race to victory. Her time of 51:01 was the third fastest on the course, narrowly missing the course record by seven seconds. “I think I began to put some distance between myself and the other female runners going up the hill,” said McCandless. Marina Muncan, Ardmore, PA and Villanova and a runner for the Serbian Olympic Team at Beijing, finished second, just 32 seconds back. Former winner, Heidi (Wolfsberger) Peoples, Scranton, PA and Moravian, finished third in 52:39. Rounding out the top Diamond Pendant winners were Carly Graytock, Cambridge, MA, Amy Falk, Hummelstown, PA, Lori Kingsley, Wysox, PA, and Kathy Aldridge, Alpine, NY.

 

LORI KINGSLEY, SIXTH IN 55:41.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
The Local Race

Tony Lawson won the Men’s 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!

 

RACE DIRECTOR MARGARET LIVSEY, THE
RUN FOR THE DIAMONDS “FIRST LADY.”
CLAY SHAW PHOTO

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 children’s mile was added. During the 1990s, more children’s races were added. There are a total of nine races conducted, now, with over 400 children entering!

This year’s 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.