Festival 5K will see most of Greater Pittston


First Posted: 8/6/2013

There aren’t many 5Ks that include a pair of bridges, nearly three cities and a boatload of tomatoes. Here in Pittston, you can experience all of the above.

The 15th Annual Miles for Michael Pittston Tomato Festival Festival 5K run, sponsored by Geisinger will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Pre-registration can be made by calling 574-0463. Anyone who has not pre-registered may register the day of the race beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Greater Pittston YMCA.

The 3.1 mile course will take runners through the heart of Greater Pittston and across the mighty Susquehanna River. The course begins at Main and Williams Streets and ends at the Tomato Festival grounds. The course goes through downtown Pittston, across the Fort-Jenkins Bridge, West Pittston and the Water Street Bridge. Streets will be traffic controlled and miles will be marked.

Entry fee for the race will be $25 after Aug. 1. Checks can be made payable to The Pittston Tomato Festival Association and mailed to 2 Whitman Drive, Dupont, PA 18641.

A portion of the proceeds will go to a pair of worthy causes. Out of every entry fee, $4 will go toward Miles for Michael, Helping Local Families Battling Cancer. A $1 donation per application will be donated to “The One Fund Boston” to assist families affected by the tragic events during the Boston Marathon.

Last year was the first year the 5K partnered with “Miles for Michael.” In that event, the race raised about $1,300 for the cause. And this year, Boston will also benefit, as well.

Created in memory of the late Michael Joyce, of Duryea, “Miles for Michael” provides support for cancer patients and their families. While undergoing treatment for cancer, Joyce became aware that the costs of dealing with the disease go far beyond what medical insurance overs. While he was in position to handle those costs, his heart went out to others who could not. With the held of his four brothers, John, Joseph, William and David, family members and employees of Joyce Insurance, “Miles for Michael” was born.

“The big thing last year was the name change,” said Jay Duffy, organizer of the run. “We’re trying to keep it in town and it’s all about how we move forward and helping Miles for Michael raise money.”

Trophies will be awarded to the top three male and female runners at the bandshell following the race. There will be a split time at the one-mile mark and a water station at two miles. The first 150 participants will receive a long sleeve t-shirt.

Along with the trophies for the top three finishers, medals will be given to the first place male and female finishers in each age category. Age categories will be as follows: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-59 and 60 and up.

Last year’s run was extremely successful. Approximately 300 participants enjoyed the race and many stayed after the race to enjoy the festival. Duffy expects that number to be somewhere in that ballpark this year, as well.

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