National News

A Thanksgiving tradition and the woman who makes it happen

Posted November 23, 2017 3:30 p.m. EST

— A Thanksgiving tradition marked it's 108th year Thursday in Berwick.

"It's such a tradition. I'd say that people who grew up in Berwick don't know anything else but to get up Thanksgiving morning, watch the race and then go home for dinner," said Margaret Livsey.

In Berwick, being home for the holidays means getting up early and hitting the road. The Run For The Diamonds stepped off for its 108th year and for 36 of those years, exactly one third, Margaret Livsey has served as the race director.

"I started doing the race in 1982 and at that time we had about 500 runners," said Livsey.

On this Thanksgiving, the Run For The Diamonds has around 1,200 runners.

While the race gets bigger and bigger, Margaret's duties increase too.

Still, the paycheck remains the same. She's a volunteer and always has been.

"She's amazing. I mean, she's so dedicated to this race," said Alysha Stoker, volunteer.

"She puts her heart and soul into this, and blood, sweat and tears and you can see it every year," said Matt Byrne of Scranton Running Company.

Margaret is 80 now and by her own admission, doesn't get around as well as she used to but when asked how many more Thanksgiving mornings she will choose to be at the race she replied, "I don't know. As many as I'm able to be here."

"She's a wonderful lady and I don't think she's ever going to give this up," said Stoker.

When, rather if, Margaret ever does give this up, the Run For The Diamonds will carry on just like it has for 108 years. But for runners and other organizers, it sure won't feel the same.