With construction by the New York State Office of General Services under way to enhance the Madison Avenue overpass and the Empire State Plaza in Albany, organizers of the Freihofer’s Run for Women have relocated the course for the next two years.
(Pictured) Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services, Price Chopper Supermarkets; Christine Ammon, director of human relations, Charles Freihofer Baking Company; Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and at the podium, George Regan, event director, Freihofer’s Run for Women.
It's one of the world's largest and most prestigious all-female road races. The 37th edition of the Freihofer’s Run for Women May 30th will feature some 5,000 women of all ages and abilities competing alongside many of the world's greatest long distance champions.
But a new route has been traced for 2015 and 2016.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan spoke Tuesday at a kickoff event. "How do you improve a race that has been voted the No. 5 race on Competitor Magazine's 2015 Must-do 5k's in the United States? It's not easy, but I think that we have. We are going to still have our runners running through Washington Park, which is a beautiful park, and it's a beautiful opportunity. The runners love it, we love it. But it's going to start from a different location. It's going to start right here in front of city hall!"
Sheehan will be running along with local citizens and the most elite runners from around the world. "While none of my predecessors were able to run in this race, I, as the first female mayor of the city of Albany, am eligible to run, although I will say I'm sure that Jerry Jennings, with his enthusiasm for the city, would have run in the race if you had let him."
Sheehan says the city will be following strict protocols in safety planning for the race. Race organizer George Regan says the new site can be secured from each of its corners — which means spectators will once again be able to be present at the finish line. "They were used to that over on Madison Avenue until the Boston bombing. Well here, they're gonna be able to that again, because checkpoints are gonna be at each of the corners."
Regan adds there will be plenty of parking available downtown and all around the venue. Academy Park will be used for the start and finish of the race. "We're gonna use East Capitol Park for feeding and for refreshments, for entertainment and for the awards ceremony."
Charles Freihofer Baking Company's Christine Amman: "We get runners of all levels. People running their first 5k, and then we have the elite athletes, and we have everything in between and it is just so exciting to be there on race day. So I encourage everyone to really come out and support this run."
In addition to the Women's 5k, the weekend events include the Junior 3k, Kids Run, Community Walk and Health & Fitness Expo, as well as the Race Walk and Sport Walk clinic on May 31.
Access — The new course can be reached with ease from four exits off of I-787 south, including Colonie/Columbia Street, Clinton Avenue, Empire State Plaza and Madison Avenue, as well as off the Arbor Hill Exit on I-90. Greater entry points are expected to reduce event traffic congestion.
Parking — Ample parking will be available to participants at lots located at Sheridan Hollow, Lower Sheridan, Swan & Elk, Elk, Hilton Albany garage, as well as Empire State Plaza (P-3 and V-Lots), the East Garage, and the Times Union Center, among others.
Viewing — For those heading downtown to cheer on loved ones, there will be improved access to the start/finish line. Additionally, viewing options will now feature bleachers adjacent to the start/finish line.
For more details about the course change, including maps, parking and directions, please visit http://www.freihofersrun.com/course_change.htm. To register for the 37th annual Freihofer’s Run for Women, 28th annual Kids’ Run, 27th annual Community Walk and 5th annual Freihofer’s Junior 3K, visit http://www.freihofersrun.com.