by Kristen Hislop
Finish with a smile and walk around the following day without pain, enjoying the post-race high. That’s my goal for new athletes when we start a coaching relationship for endurance events. Well I can say I finished with a smile and have the post-race high. I’m a little sore from some heavy lifting, but that’s to be expected with an endurance event like the Freihofer’s Run for Women. On 9/25/21 over 1200 women gathered in person to run the 43rd edition. We had another 300 running a virtual 5K between 9/19 and 9/26. We started talking about the event as a comeback. A return to normalcy, but really we aren’t there yet.
To mitigate risk we canceled the Expo along with the kids’ events. But we knew we needed to hold the 43rd run. When it came time to order the medals, ‘comeback’ didn’t feel like the right word. What is it about this event that makes it different? Participants always talk about how they feel at the run. Being on the closed streets of Albany allows them to challenge themselves. It is empowering.
Not many events draw a group of women together with a shared goal. 1224 stood at a start line. They listened to Olivia Frempong sing the national anthem. They cheered, and then when Mayor Sheehan yelled “Gooooo,” they started with a focus on the finish line. How they got to the start is an individual story. Why they have the fortitude to get to the finish line is individual as well. But that celebration is shared. It is the true definition of community.