WILKES-BARRE — For many, the fourth of July is day for parades, cookouts, and fireworks. In Wilkes-Barre, it`s also a day for running.
In this kind of heat, it doesn`t take much to break a sweat. But these people decided to run 3 miles anyway.
“This kind of starts off my morning, gets me going. After this, we`ll be eating good and doing a cookout and what not,” said Chris Keller, of Dallas.
For 30 years, the Bernie Memorial Run has sent hundreds running through downtown Wilkes-Barre on July 4th. Money raised through the race goes to wellness programs at the Wilkes-Barre YMCA.
Mary Kay Gavlick is here to root on her daughter, who`s training for a triathalon.
“It doesn`t even matter how they place. It`s just about finishing,” said Mary Kay Gavlick, of Ashley.
“You get to wear your ribbons of course. Lots of people turn out. Everybody’s close. Wilkes-Barre`s a small town, so it`s great. I see so many people I know here, so it`s just a great environment,” said Kathryn Gavlick, of Ashley.
But for one family, this race does more than just honor Independence Day. It honors one of the former CEO`s of the YMCA.
Sara Michaels` father was Bernie Hargadon, a former YMCA CEO who died years ago after starting this race.
“My dad`s dream was to incorporate the whole family and for everyone to be here and celebrate a little bit of Americana and celebrate the birthday of our country,” said Sara Michaels, of Forty Fort.
So while some run this race for America, and others to get a workout in.
“I`m sure after running this much, you don`t feel so bad about eating those burgers and hot dogs later.”
“Absolutely not!” said Kathryn Gavlick.
For others, it`s to remember lost loved ones.
“He`s here in lots of ways. He`s here in lots of ways and in lots of people,” said Mic