Inaugural ‘Wyoming Valley Run’ announced for September
PITTSTON – Running enthusiasts in northeastern Pennsylvania have a new event to look forward to at the end of summer when the Wyoming Valley Run, a 10-mile event from Pittston to Wilkes-Barre on September 3, is presented by Allied Services.
Race director Ben Robinson and his race committee gathered at the Tomato Bar in Pittston on Wednesday night to announce the new event. Also present were Mayor Michael Lombardo of Pittston, where the race will start, and Mayor George Brown of Wilkes-Barre, where the race will end.
“This has been a project for a few years. We started initial planning in 2019, obviously it didn’t work out in 2020,” Robinson said, alluding to the COVID pandemic that has postponed the event. “Our first event is on September 3rd, Labor Day weekend.”
Robinson said the 10-mile race would start in Pittston, head over to Spc. Dale Kridlo Memorial Bridge to West Pittston and follow a route on the west side of the river down Wyoming Avenue that connects the seven communities that connect Pittston and Wilkes-Barre, making it a community event.
“Our goal is to give back to runners and give back to charities,” added Robinson. “We have five local charities that we will be donating to: Candy’s Place, Camp Freedom, Wilkes-Barre Special Needs Playground, Shop with a Cop and Northeast Sight Services.”
Robinson anticipates the opening race will have approximately 1,000 to 1,500 runners, with a target of 5,000 to 10,000 runners.
Jim Brogna, vice president of strategic partnership development at Allied Services, who is also a keen runner, is excited about the new event.
“On behalf of our 3,000 employees at Allied Services, our thousands of patients and residents who strive for the greatest possible independence every day,” Brogna said. “We are proud to be part of this event, which will truly be a special event for people of all abilities. It will be people training to compete in an extraordinary distance, run double digit miles and also help some amazing charities.”
Brogna said the 10-mile run is a transformative event, with communities along the parade route working together, along with runners of all abilities, walkers, veterans, those with limb loss and visually impaired runners.
Mayor Lombardo is also excited about the run, which will tie his town to the town of Wilkes-Barre.
“Whenever we can do something together, I always look forward to it,” Lombardo said. “I think both of our cities are on a wonderful path and going places and doing things. I want to recognize this great committee (The Wyoming Valley Run), I want to recognize Ben Robinson and Jim Brogna, and this is a really good committee and this is a wonderful celebration of so many good things in Northeast Pennsylvania.”
“We’re excited for a number of reasons,” Mayor Brown said. “First of all, of course, we will finish the race in our beautiful city. Second, through the wonderful cooperation of our committee, the Special Needs Playground Committee receives a portion of the funding to build our second park at The Bog in Wilkes-Barre. It’s going to be wonderful.”
Brown added that the 10-mile event would be an amazing start of something for years to come.
Robinson closed the press conference by adding that $23,000 was raised from sponsors.
Robinson and other runners completed a 4.5-mile run that began and ended at the Tomato Bar to conclude the press conference.