by Kristen Hislop
Deep exhale. The majority of the work is done. Prize money allocation, thank you notes, social media hawking and surveys are in progress. Now it’s time to look towards the 45th Freihofer’s Run for Women. I always say this is much more than a 5K and not just because we also have the the Training Challenge, Health and Fitness Expo, the Junior 3K, the Kids Runs, and the Elite field, but because of what it means to each and every participant.
The woman in this photo came across the finish line and bent over. I wasn’t sure if she was tired or felt sick, so I approached her. She said she never thought that after the age of 70 with past joint surgeries she would ever be able to finish, and yet there she was, across the finish line at the Freihofer’s Run for Women.
A couple of our Training Challenge participants covered the course during our preview in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. On Saturday they set off walking together. While their paces changed, they were able to encourage and push each other. As they came across the line the clock read 1:15! 15 minutes faster than they thought they could do! The camaraderie and support of an all women’s event encourages those who question if they can do to at least try.
Eleonora with her niece
You may have seen this piece about our mentor Eleonora Morrell who last December donated her kidney to her niece. After she ran, she placed her medal around Stef’s neck. Bet you can’t help but tear up a bit. Or what about our overall winner Allie Ostrander? She chose the Freihofer’s Run for Women to test her fitness in her comeback to the highest level of running. Friday night she was visibly nervous, but over the miles she got stronger and more confident, blazing in to the finish at a pace of well under 5 minute miles.
That is how the Freihofer’s Run for Women is for many. You start unsure and then finish believing! My coaching motto is do, believe, achieve. Over 2,000 women decided to do on Saturday June 4, 2022. The smiles, high fives, cheers, jumps, and tears are the signs that they now believe they can. They DID. Now they get to go achieve more. Maybe that will be on another 5K route or in the office or with a new venture. Sometimes it takes pushing your body for your mind to understand what can be done!
The 2022 field was 40% first timers! What an opportunity for the sport. Raven was our youngest athlete completing her first 5K and Nancy at 92 was the eldest. What other sport has a spectrum of 88 years? Our fastest finisher was Allie Ostrander at 15:48 and our final athlete came across at 1:24:12. What sport allows for that spectrum of paces. What sport allows volunteers to get up close and work with the elite athletes in the field? Some of our local high school runners helped out in the elite tent. We all got our fan girl photos! Jack Hislop was not about to be left out and got his picture with Allie O. and Allie K.
We all know that races don’t happen without volunteers. As we closed in on 3 weeks to race day our volunteer numbers were low. We let local media know and they gave us a voice. Wow did people turn out. Last year at our new Wednesday night volunteer dinner we had about thirty. This year it was over 150! Volunteers had dinner, got their cool shirts, won raffles and learned about their roles for race week. At times we almost had too many volunteers, but we found jobs for all and as a result race operations were smooth! Many said they would be back and will hopefully be helping at other events.
When you look at putting on an event the size and magnitude of the Freihofer’s Run for Women you need expertise, energy and commitment. The people running around in mint green polos (a color I think looked amazing on all) embodied that and more. If an issue came up it was solved. If heavy lifting was needed it was done. They are the backbone of the event.
As I look to the 45th I see the 50th on the horizon. As a talented and engaged running community I welcome everyone to get involved. Bring your ideas, contacts, muscle power, and love of running to help grow and improve the Freihofer’s Run for Women.
Kristen Hislop is the Event Director for the Freihofer's Run for Women. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meg Versteegan wrote this nice piece about running Freihofer’s and coming in first in her age group:
By Meg Versteegan
As a recurring participant in the Freihofers Run for Women starting back in my high school track team days, I was excited to have the opportunity to run it again this year. There's something special about this race, it's terrific crowd support, and the feel-good, female-positive vibes it exudes. Plus, you always receive a box of Freihofers cookies with your entry, so it's certainly got that going for it!
This year's race was back to it's typical early June date, and it was a beautiful morning. I headed down to Albany with my lovely partner-in-racing Alyssa, and following a gentle warm-up we were psyched to get started. I'd had a decent 5k race a few weeks prior, and I was eager to see what I could do.
My excitement got the best of me and I took the first mile too fast, paying for it in the second mile through the park. By the last right turn back out onto Washington Ave, I had regained my composure and was able to pick up my pace and finish the last portion of the course feeling strong. The finish area of Freihofers is always great, with lots of smiles and examples of women supporting women. I later learned I had placed first in my age group, along with a cute silver running charm necklace. However, the real icing on the cookie was meeting Allie Kieffer, who is both super nice AND super fast!! Already looking forward to doing it again next year!
Save the date for next year when Freihofer’s Race is 45 years old!!
June 4, 2022 | Mark Singelais
She decided to make the Freihofer’s Run for Women her comeback race because she had come to the East Coast to serve as a pacesetter at the Trials of Miles Track Night in New York City.
June 3, 2022 | Cathleen F. Crowley
Crowley Freihofer's Run for Women returns Saturday, June 4, 2022. ... Related: 2018 Freihofer's Run for Women 5K schedule and map 3-time Olympian Diane Nukuri returns to Freihofer's Run for Women 1979 Poster.jpg ...
June 3, 2022 | Mark Singelais
Though the course is different, Meyer will aim for another victory in Albany on Saturday at the Freihofer's Run for Women, which begins at 9 a.m. on Washington Avenue in front of City Hall. ... Freihofer's race ...
May 31, 2022 | Mark Singelais
Freihofer's Run for Women organizers have yet to announce the list of elite women who will battle for the $3,000 first-place prize. ... Hislop said about 40 percent of this year's registrants are trying the ...