WEST PITTSTON — The Anthracite Run has been a borough tradition for 40 years and brings in runners from all over Luzerne County.
This year’s event looks to be no different as the 40 Annual Anthracite 4-Mile Run and Fun Walk will be held Saturday, June 3.
The run will begin at the municipal building, 555 Exeter Ave., and loop round the perimeter of the borough which includes Susquehanna, Erie and Tunkhannock avenues.
The purpose of the run, according to event chairperson, Don Shearer, is to raise money for borough parks through the Parks and Recreation Board.
Or, at least it does now.
“I don’t think it was associated with the rec board initially, but I think it was just people running,” Shearer said. “It caught on where the rec board did it as something for the community.”
The two parks in town are Morris Park on Exeter Avenue and BainBridge Campbell Park on Montgomery Avenue.
Although the two parks are in no need of major refurbishing at the moment, the money raised for the event will be used to help maintain them by keeping equipment in good condition and cleaning them.
Ellen Quinn, council representative for the Parks and Recreation Board, said the council members will also look into acquiring special equipment.
“We would like to purchase handicapped park equipment,” she said. “We don’t know what kind of equipment yet; it depends on how much money we raise.”
This year’s event will be held in memory of Allan Rose, a borough resident who passed away earlier this year.
Rose was a borough councilman for over 20 years, served on the West Pittston Library Board, was a former West Pittston Lions Club member, served on the West Pittston Ambulance Association and volunteered with Greater Pittston Meals on Wheels.
“He served as a councilman and I believe he served when the (Baltimore Avenue Park) pool began,” said Quinn. “That was years and years ago. It’s gone now, but he was one of the council members that helped see that through.”
Rose and his wife, Ann, were recipients of the Joseph F. Saporito Lifetime of Service award with in 2010.
Runner categories for the Anthracite Run include an age group of 14 and under and 12 categories in 5-year increments between 15 and 70.
Age groups range from 15 to 19, 20 to 24, 25 to 29 and so on.
Currently, only 29 people are registered for the race, but Shearer expects more to sign up before the race or the day of it.
“It is early and that’s about normal,” he said. “It’s not above or lower than what we’re normally at around this time. This is generally the week where we start seeing a lot more sign ups.”
An awards ceremony and pizza party will be held afterwards at the pavilion in Morris Park and Quinn said non-runners are welcome to enjoy the park during the race.
“We encourage it,” she said. “People can come, bring chairs and watch the runners take off.”
After 40 years, the Anthracite Run has taken on a life of its own and has become a long-standing tradition in the borough, one that Shearer says brings more people than one would imagine.
“It may say there’s over 100 runners, but I bet there’s also over 100 people watching,” he said. “People from the community just come down and get to see where the park is. They get to take their kid to park and there may be some people in the town who may not know we have a park.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher