Determined U.S. Field Gearing Up for 34th Freihofer's Run for Women on 6/2
ALBANY, NY (May 14, 2012) — Since the Freihofer’s Run for Women opened itself up to international competition in 2005, U.S. runners have found themselves hard-pressed to come anywhere near the winners’ podium, much less the Top 10 at the internationally acclaimed race. This trend appears to be changing, however, as American women have begun inching their way up the rankings again. Last year, crowds were delighted to see three U.S. women make the Top 10, which included the 4th and 5th place spots.
Could 2012 see the return of a U.S. woman to the podium for the first time since 2004 when it was a U.S.-only race? Organizers of the world-class event certainly hope so, especially with the way many of them are faring in top competitions these days.
Among the returning professional U.S. athletes are Rebecca Donahue, local star Nicole Blood, Tera Moody and Esther Erb (see full bios here)
Donahue, 36, of State College, PA, last raced here in 2010 and was the #1 U.S. finisher (9th overall), posting a time of 15:50 — the fastest U.S. time since 2004. Donahue competed in the US Olympic Marathon Trials (her first ever marathon) earlier this year, placing a very respectable 17th out of 150 of the fastest women in the country.
Donahue will be joined on the start line by Nicole Blood, last year’s 5th American and 16th place overall. A hometown hero from Saratoga Springs, Blood, 24, continues her rise through the U.S. running ranks posting a 5th place finish at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago earlier this year. Blood is a nine-time All-American and a three-time Academic All-American at the University of Oregon, and holds the school record for the indoor 5K (15:51.59).
Rounding out the returning big guns are Tera Moody, 31, of Boulder, CO, and Esther Erb, 26, of Blowing Rock, NC. Moody continues to prove herself one of the toughest American runners around. She placed 2nd at the 2011 Rock `n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon and 5th at the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championships, all while battling injury. Erb, 25, is fresh off of her 1st place finish at this year’s Broad Street 10 Miler in Philadelphia. Last year, she placed 15th at Freihofer’s Run edging out Blood in the process.
“I’m excited with the depth and quality of the US field this year,” said Freihofer’s Run for Women Elite Athlete Recruiter John Tope. “Each year, the U.S. field seems to get stronger and this year is no exception. We have a great mixture of up and coming and experienced Americans, who should make it very interesting for the rest of the field come race day."
Among the new faces at the Freihofer's Run this year is Michelle Frey, 30, who is posting some excellent numbers in 2012. Her results include 3rd place at the More Fitness Half Marathon (1:16:52) and 22nd place at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Lindsey Scherf, 25, finished 2nd at Saturday's USA 25K Championships and 6th at the Bloomsday Run 12K last week in a field of 53,000 and against arguably the top runners in the world. She also ran to 4th place at the USA 15K Championships and 3rd at the Cooper Bridge Run 10K. Meanwhile, Laura Thweatt, 23, has also recorded some impressive results in 2012, including 5th at the USATF National Cross-Country Championship and 10th at the Great Scottish Cross Country Race. She has also been consistently lowering her 5,000m PR on the track this spring, which bodes well for a strong performance.
“I’m very impressed with how well American women are doing right now against international competition,” added Freihofer’s Run for Women Event Director George Regan. “As always, having a local star back like Nicole Blood is great. You know she’s going to be coming back to better her performance from last year. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she were in the Top 10.”
Tope echoes these sentiments: “The U.S. field is coming here to go for it,” he remarked. “You look at some of the numbers these women are posting right now and you can’t help but be impressed. They’re excited about putting it all out there against some of the top runners in the world,” he said.
For bios, race results and photos of the U.S. field, click here.
Additional information about the 2012 Freihofer’s Run for Women, Freihofer’s Community Walk, Freihofer’s Kids’ Run and the CapitalCare/CDPHP Health & Fitness Expo can be found at www.freihofersrun.com. From the home page, you can also link to the event’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
Event sponsors include the Charles Freihofer Baking Company, Price Chopper Supermarkets, CSC, The City of Albany, FOX23, the Times Union, and 99.5 The River
Freihofer's, a leading baker of wholesome products, is committed to fostering the growth and recognition of women in sports and inspiring all generations of women to experience the benefits of exercise and good nutrition. Freihofer's continues to set the pace by sponsoring the annual Freihofer's Run for Women 5K. Now in its 34th year, the event, which is home to the Master's World & U.S. All-Comers record, features thousands of women of all ages and abilities from Olympians to recreational joggers, who challenge themselves on the picturesque 3.1-mile course. For more information, visit http://www.freihofers.com/