Brrrrave! Berwick’s 109th Run for the Diamonds Race Features Freezing Cold Temperatures

BERWICK, Pa.-- November of 1908. Theodore Roosevelt wrapped up his second term as President of the United States.

Taking his place in the oval office? William Taft.

That was also the first year of Berwick's Run for the Diamonds race.

109 years later, this annual Thanksgiving tradition is still going strong in Columbia County.

"I really think it's great because they keep this going," Ted Benza of Berwick said.

"It's just a tradition now," Jeff Hess of Bloomsburg said.

The story this year? The weather. Some say this was the chilliest it's been in the race's history

"It's probably the coldest it's been temperature wise but in 1985 we had about 32 degrees and raining at the start of the race," Margaret Livsey said, whose served as race director for 37 years said.

At the sound of the gun at 10:30 a.m., it was a brisk 21 degrees in Berwick. That didn't stop more than 1,100 runners from taking on this grueling 9-mile course. For some of the spectators, they were wearing layers upon layers to bear the elements.

"About four layers, a couple sweatshirts, tee shirts and then just the heavy coat," Melanie Shultz of Berwick said.

Finishing first for the men was four-time champion Matt Gillette from the Lehigh Valley at just over 46 minutes.

"It was cold," Gillette said. "Going up the mountain, wind in your face, hands frozen, feet frozen, face frozen."

And placing first among the females, was Zoe Matherne of Camp Hill.

"My biggest debate this morning was actually what I was going to wear because I didn't want to be too hot and obviously didn't want to get too cold," Matherne said. "I took my gloves off with a mile to go, which I came to regret."

Kyler Hower and Matthew Dalrymple, both of Berwick ran the race without shirts on.

"For the most part," Hower said when asked if he was warm.

"I'm pretty warm," Dalrymple said. "You got to run that race. It feels pretty good to take it off so we can have a good time."

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