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Run for the Diamonds celebrates female runners

A traditional race kicked off Thursday morning but this year they are celebrating a special milestone in Berwick.

BERWICK, Pa. — With the sound of the start gun, the runners are off.

More than 1,200 runners laced up their sneakers for the 114th annual Run for the Diamonds. The 9.3-mile race draws people from near and far.

"This is definitely from the ones I've done in Baltimore. This one seems to be more community-oriented, I guess you would say. It definitely feels a bit more home towney is the best way to explain it," said Jacob O'Connell from Maryland. 

"I was just doing the Philly marathon on Sunday, and this seemed like a good thing to do, so first time doing this, but it seems like a good atmosphere," said Dickie Lee from Bloomsburg. 

This year marks a special milestone. The Run for the Diamonds is celebrating 50 years of women being allowed to run in the race. 

"Prior to 1972, it was decided that women should not run long distances, that it was physically harmful to them. Then it was decided that yes, that they could run," said Margarey Livsey, race director. 

So in the fall of 1972, the first two female runners signed up for the race. Claudette Garber was only 20 years old. 

"I didn't realize the historical event that it was. I just loved running and wanted to challenge myself to see that I could do this 9.3-mile run, and what a day it was," said Claudette Garber. 

Claudette was there with a ribbon to greet the first woman crossing the finish line. 

"Here, 50 years later, I'm humbled; I feel very privileged to be here and to be able to see it all. Even coming over here this morning, I had butterflies in my stomach," said Garber. 

A crowd gathered to watch the Thanksgiving day tradition. 

Cheering on the runners who push through the road course known for its dips and rises in elevation. 

"When you're running, and people are cheering you on, it gives you a bit of a stamina boost," said O'Connell. 

The winning runners do go home with real diamonds as their prize.

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