by Kristen Hislop
Is 13 a lucky number? We sure think so. This year is the 13th Training Challenge - a program to help women get ready for the 45th Freihofer's Run for Women on June 3, 2023. Why would I tell a bunch of runners about a training program that starts March 20, 2023? Because you might want to join. If you haven't been running regularly, this is a great way to jump back into it - slowly and with others. A HUGE benefit to the $55 program is a cool shirt and a 12 week membership to the Capital District YMCA. It is a full membership - a $250+ value. Click here to sign up. Many of you are already running regularly, so being a mentor might be of interest (yes, guys, we will take you!). Our mentors provide support and knowledge while walking or running with our participants. We have meetups on Mondays, Wednesday (at Y locations) and Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the Town of Colonie Park. You can pick one location or a couple. We have multiple tracks: walk, run/walk, beginner (starts with run/walk and progresses to run the 5K), intermediate and advanced (intervals and 6 mile runs on Saturday). To learn more about mentoring contact Eleonora18@gmail.com.
Every year we strive to offer a better experience and include more athletes. We are SO excited that this year the Freihofer's Run for Women is a National Meet Up for Black Girls Run! Ten years ago, Olivia Frempong participated in the Training Challenge. She went on to run marathons, but even better, she brought Black Girls Run! (BGR) to Albany. The group just celebrated 7 years in the region. There are over 700 members on their Facebook page and it is free to join at https://blackgirlsrun.com/ . BGR has changed countless lives across the country and in the Capital Region. There are already 100 women signed up on the BGR team. Help us spread the word and get more women running with us on the streets of Albany on June 3, 2023.
Are you a bling fan? Well then you won't want to miss out on the 2023 race. At what other 5K do you get an amazing shirt and a medal? Oh, and make sure your kids are signed up for the Capital Kids 3K and/or the Kids Runs, as this year it will be an extra treat waiting for them at the finish line. That is in addition to the free box of Freihofer's chocolate chip cookies. Of course, all 5K participants receive their box of Freihofer's cookies and loaf of bread when they visit our amazing expo. Stay tuned to hear who and what will be there this year.
We just can't leave a great event as is – no, we must make it better. This year we will have a team tent area. Did you know there is prize money for USATF teams? There is also prize money for the top 5 USATF individuals. Join USATF Adirondack today and support your sport at https://adirondack.usatf.org/ We also have team competitions (with awards - really cool awards designed and manufactured in the US by a women-owned company). Mother - daughter, sister - sister, daughter, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, corporate, friends and family, high school and others! Get your co-workers to sign up then bring a tent down for race day.
For those of you who ran in the 25th event or the 35th event might remember getting a poster. The poster is back for the 45th. We will be announcing in the next week a poster contest open to middle and high schoolers in the Capital Region. Someone's artwork will become the poster for the 2023 event. Oh, and why not get that art supply list covered with the $500 prize! Please help us promote this to area students - share when you see the announcements.
While you are recruiting others to do the event please use your referral link - you get it when you register. When just 2 people sign up you get $ back - - 2 peeps. You must know two other runners or wannabe runners/walkers. This event is all about community and empowerment. Bring someone who might not otherwise do a 5K. Let them experience the event and you might end up with a new training partner.
We try not to leave anyone out. The Kids Runs are free and open to those in diapers up to 10 or so - for the mile. The Capital Kids 3K covers 1.86 miles of the 5K course and has awards. To ensure everyone can participate we have a super cool category called volunteer. Our volunteers get to pick something fun to do - hand out cookies at the Expo, put medals around finisher's necks, hand water to athletes flying by on the course, pass out food to the famished, and more.
You can pick how you want to get involved here https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/NY/Albany/FreihofersRunforWomen. We have a fun dinner for our volunteers on Wednesday May 31 at the Armory at Russell Sage College. That's where you pick up your super cool shirt.
Events like the Freihofer's Run for Women are how we grow our sport. We introduce kids at an early age. We give them a memorable experience. Then we continue to support them throughout their lives - meeting them where they are on their journey. We have no doubt that our elite field will bring in some big names once again (last year Allie Ostrander won and Allie Kiefer was second). Our intent is to grow the 90+ age group to more than 3. Anny Stockman turned 90 just a couple of days after the event in 2022! BGR will help us grow the event. How can you help? Who will you bring?
Kristen Hislop is the Event Director of the Freihofer's Run for Women and the Clifton Park Freedom Mile. She currently is President of USATF Adirondack. In the triathlon world she serves as Secretary on the USAT Triathlon Women's Committee and as a Women for Tri Ambassador. Hislop Coaching offers run, swim, cycling and triathlon coaching to athletes of all abilities and ages.