PITTSTON — The Pittston Memorial Library is expanding its promotion of reading through running.
The library will host its first race, called the Book It Through Pittston Literacy 5K Run/Fun Walk, as another way to encourage library membership and highlight its programs.
All proceeds will benefit the library.
“We hope to raise awareness that we’re here,” said Barbara Quinn, president of the library board of directors. “We hope to raise fundraising to promote literacy programs at the library, not only for children, but adults as well. That community is kind of neglected and people forget that adults read, too.”
The race will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 and it will follow the same course as the Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run and Fun Walk.
Participants will begin at the corner of Main and William streets and run up North Main Street, across the Fort Jenkins Bridge and then down Susquehanna Avenue, back across the Water Street Bridge and down Kennedy Boulevard.
Walkers will turn left on Market Street and then back onto South Main Street, where the walking course will end.
Runners will continue on Kennedy Boulevard, turn right on East Street, left on West Columbus Street, right onto Elizabeth Street, left onto Tompkins Street, then merge onto High Street before turning right back onto East Street and making their way down South Main Street.
After turning onto Swallow Street, runners will turn on East Columbus Avenue and then back onto South Main Street for the race’s conclusion.
Prizes will be given at the end of the race for the top three male and female runners.
The race will be held in honor of late former state Rep. Tom Tigue and his wife Dianne.
Dianne passed away in August 2015 from a sudden heart attack and Tom passed away in February of stage IV lung cancer.
“They were very strong supporters of the library and if it wasn’t for Tom Tigue I don’t think we would have had our additions,” said Quinn. “He was just phenomenal with helping us, and they’ve always been supporters of the library for absolutely everything.”
The idea for the event came from library board member Mary Pat Scarantino.
“The light bulb just went off,” she said. “Essentially it’s because we’re a library and hopefully people read a lot to enhance their intelligence, and that’s a literary moment and that’s where I came up with the idea.”
Race controller Courtney Lomax said anywhere between 75 and 80 volunteers will be needed to help with registration, hand out water at stations and direct runners away from traffic.
Participants and volunteers can sign up at the library, the Greater Pittston YMCA or online at www.scrantonrunning.com. There will also be race day registration at 8 a.m. at the YMCA.
Pre-registration for runners is $20 before Aug. 20, and after that date the cost will be $30. Walkers can register for $15.
“It should be in everyone’s best interest to register early,” said Lomax.
As the event falls on a date between the Tomato Festival race in August and Paint Pittston Pink race in October, Quinn said she hopes to make this an annual event and even have rewards for those who complete all three.
“Next year we’re hoping it will be like a triple crown,” she said. “If people come for each of the three races we’ll have an overall triple crown winner. I think that will be nice.”