BY CHRISTINE LEE
Federal guidance to avoid large gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers of the eighth annual Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K to postpone this year’s race for the first time in its seven-year history.
Officials at CK Running LLC, Collingswood, New Jersey, announced the decision Tuesday. No new date has been set. The race planning company has organized the event since the first jogger in 2013.
CK Running co-owner and Director of Operations Carrie Conway runs the organization with Kathryn Ross, marketing and partner relations director.
“We need to do our part to maintain social distancing and gathering 5,000 people wouldn’t be possible,” Conway said. “It’s heartbreaking because we know there are a lot of people in the area that look forward to it.”
The popular race has attracted upward of nearly 3,000 participants, who start and end the 5K in front of D.G. Yuengling & Son Brewery at Seventh and Mahantongo streets, walking or running. The yearly event includes an after party with live music, vendors and a beer garden.
Conway said she has been in touch with Mayor James T. Muldowney and brewery officials monitoring the coronavirus outbreak for a week, looking at federal, state and local regulations on the virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Organizing the event, she said, took officials nine months to plan.
“While this is CK’s largest and most fun event, we made the right decision,” Conway said, adding that she is fortunate to have the local support from city and brewery officials to reschedule the 5K when it’s safer to do so. “Hopefully this will be the only year it is postponed.”
“The decision from local organizers and community officials to postpone the event was made to ensure the safety and welfare of all involved,” Wendy Yuengling said a prepared statement. “Our hearts go out to those communities and families that have been impacted by COVID-19 and look forward to the opportunity to be a part of future events where we can all celebrate together in Pottsville again soon.”
Conway said 3,500 people signed up in October to participate in this year’s race, with this year’s event sold out. Those who signed up can participate in the re-scheduled 5K, details of which will be released when they become available, she added.
“We’re looking forward to coming back to Pottsville,” Conway said. “It will be a great event, just slightly down the road.”
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