by Kristen Hislop, Co Director Freihofer’s Run for Women
In 2019 I created our Ambassador program for the Freihofer's Run for Women. About 30 women applied and we chose 12 to help represent and promote the race. Their role was to educate women about the race, encourage them to sign up and promote attendance at the Freihofer’s Health & Fitness Expo at The Armory at Sage College. The program was a hit for us and the ambassadors. In 2020, we thought we would keep the program about the same size and see how year two would progress. We were blown away by the response. Applications poured in - over 75! I was in tears reading some of the stories. The application asked women to brag about themselves and share their stories. I love this race and being part of the team that now puts it on each year is amazing, but to hear other women talk about what it means to them makes me want to work harder. For some it was their first 5K, maybe a breakthrough race or the first time they ever identified as a runner. For many it was part of a comeback story. Others had been inspired by women before them and toed the line to see what they could do.
It was a real challenge to choose our 2020 team. We had a scoring matrix, and the scores were tight. We thought we might grow the program to 15, but we just had to include more women. Their stories must be shared. We will be highlighting them as they talk about the race and their journey to the starting line on May 30, 2020.
Chosen this year were: Annamarie Anderson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Emily Bocklet (Katonah, N.Y.), Darlene Cardillo (Delmar, N.Y.), Delma Carlton (Bronx, N.Y.), Jennifer Casey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.), Lisa Ciancetta (Guilderland, N.Y.), Elizabeth Maloy DeBole (Loudonville, N.Y.), Raechel Fraterrigo (Altamont, N.Y.), Olivia Frempong (North Greenbush, N.Y.), Kristen Garzone (Troy, N.Y.), Clarissa Hartzog (Troy, N.Y.), Sheyna Horowitz (Maplewood, N.J.), Danielle Kiser (Glens Falls, N.Y.), Carolann Koleci (Albany, N.Y.), Shiobbean Lemme (Pittsfield, Mass.), Sharon Maltbie (Nassau, N.Y.), Brittany Mangione (Troy, N.Y.), Rebecca Maroney (Red Hook, N.Y.), Bethany Mazura (Guilderland, N.Y.), Amy Mosher (Cohoes, N.Y.), Mary Ellen Myer (Delmar, N.Y.), Dana Silano Pohleven (Dolgeville, N.Y.), Kathryn Shelton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Aimee Sinopoli (Adams, Mass.), Stephanie Wilkinson (Albany, N.Y.) and, Benita Zahn (Albany, N.Y.)
Many of the women chosen run at Hudson Mohawk Road Runner events. You know them, but you might not know the whole backstory. Each has a special bond with the race. It is all those women - with those special bonds - who create the energy on race day. I still have people who say they don’t want to run because "it is too big." I’ll challenge any of them to run on May 30 and say the day doesn’t change them. You can’t help but be inspired when you have so many strong, resilient, focused, and fabulous women on the start line. Join us on May 30 at 9 a.m. Contact one of the ambassadors for a discount code for the race and sign up at www.freihofersrun.com.