The 36th Freihofer's Run for Women is set for Saturday in Albany, featuring international stars, U.S. athletes and local runners. The focus will be on public safety.
Organizers stress it's not just a competition. It's a celebration of women. Women of all ages and abilities will compete Saturday: Event officials say more than 4,000 runners have signed up. Event Director George Regan: "We've been working very closely with Albany PD and with New York State Police and with other public safety agencies to ensure that everybody has an enjoyable and safe time."
The Freihofer's run is home to the Master's World & U.S. All-Comers record and boasts a silver label designation from the IAAF, the world governing body for track and field.
Major races since April 2013 have inevitably brought to mind the Boston Marathon bombings. On the heels of the successful 2014 Boston Marathon, Albany Police Department spokesman Steve Smith confirms safety is top priority. "The bombings in Boston taught us a lesson and certainly changed the way we provide security for events all throughout the city."
Smith asks participants and spectators abide by a few simple rules. "Do not bring any backpacks to the event. Any items that they need to bring we ask they bring in a clear plastic bag. Do not bring any pets because we're gonna have police dogs at the event to make sure everyone is safe... and [runners] bring photo ID just to make sure they get there early enough to check in."
All 5K participants should be on site by 8:45 a.m. Regan says behind-the-scenes preparation has been a team effort. "Kathy Sheehan, Albany's new mayor, has really rolled out the red carpet for us. All of her support people from DGS to the police and fire have all been working hard to make this an enjoyable event for all of your listeners."
Smith with the police encourages public vigilance. He says officers will be wearing bright yellow vests. "...to make them easily identifiable so if anybody sees something, please go to a police officer. Any suspicious activity, any suspicious person, should be reported to the police."
The CapitalCare/CDPHPHealth & Fitness Expo is accepting last-minute registrations through 7 p.m. in the convention hall of the Empire State Plaza, just below The Egg.
Chip & Packet pick-up
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Convention Hall, Empire State Plaza
Chip and packet pickup continues.
36th Annual Freihofer's Run for Women 5km Fitness Run
9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Madison Avenue
Join over 4,000 women - recreational joggers to Olympians - in this the 36th annual event.
Freihofer's Junior 3K Run Ages 9-13
11:15 a.m., Madison Avenue
The 4th annual Freihofer’s Junior 3K Run, presented by SportsSignup, is a 1.86-mile road race to promote an active, healthy lifestyle for youth girls and boys ages 9-13.
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Outdoor Stage, Empire State Plaza
26th Annual Freihofer's Community Walk
9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., non-profit check-in (Convention Hall of the Empire State Plaza)
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., walker check-in (Convention Hall of the Empire State Plaza)
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Community Walk along with the “Try It” 3K Sport Walk
Join thousands of walkers taking part in raising money for over 70 local charities - or join in just for the health of it! The Freihofer's Community Walk has raised more than $1 million for non-profit organizations since its inception in 1989.
11:30 a.m., Concourse
The unique style and techniques of race walking will be demonstrated through a "See it, Feel it, Experience it" free clinic.
27th Annual Freihofer's Kids' Run
12:10 p.m., Empire State Plaza and Madison Ave
There is no entry fee, but all runners must be registered and will receive a cool kids' t-shirt just for participating, while supplies last. For kids ages 3-11.
3km SportWalk along with the Community Walk
12:00 p.m., Madison Ave
Time to "experience it" by entering your first non-judged 3km SportWalk.