WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- There was no shortage of stars and stripes at the starting line for the Bernie’s Run race in Wilkes-Barre this Fourth of July.
“You see all the red, white, and blue everywhere. It's fabulous! Everyone is so nice. It's a great day,” Jill DePoe from Berwick said in her American flag inspired tutu.
The Bernie’s Run is organized by the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA. The three-mile race remembers someone very special to the Y.
“Bernie Hargadon is a past president of the YMCA, and he passed away from an unforeseen genetic heart condition,” Lauranel Banks of the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA said.
636 people ran or walked the three miles, making it all the way to the finish line on Public Square. Organizers say they hope to raise close to $20,000 for the YMCA.
“All of the proceeds for this benefit how we're able to sort of remember what happened to Bernie and make everybody else a little healthier,” Banks said.
Diane Cowman has been doing the race for the last six years. She said it always reminds her why the Wyoming Valley is so special.
“We go back to the old 'Valley with a Heart,' and I see that every year when I come here. It's such a great supportive community and again with a great cause,” Cowman said.
Like anything else in life, runners said you need a strategy to get to the finish line.
“I think you just have to take it one mile at a time. Take it slow. Each mile think that you're accomplishing something and just gun it out right to the end,” Kristen Lombardo of Pittston said.
This is the 35th year runners have been pushing themselves to the finish line in the Bernie’s Run race.