Freihofer Run for Women Race Recap

This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 12th time!!!!!

Freihofer's Run - Start

The website – can you see me? Right center – Pink hat & top

My first FRW was in 2008 (my first year of running). At the time, it was the farthest I’d ever run:

FRW - 2008

Due to construction, they changed the course four years ago.

They say that this course is faster…less congested and has a less steep hill at the start and finish.


course map

I did run the new course the past four years and I liked it.


heading downhill to the finish line

As with this race every year, I never know what will happen… I could break my foot again (as I did in 2013) or could have a course PR as I did last year.

And this was also my fifth Freihofer Training Challenge.

did my green hat stand out much last year?!

Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up on most Monday runs. But each Monday seemed to follow either a half marathon or a long run. As a result, although I registered for the Advanced group, I never participated in any of the speed drills. Instead I ran easy with  the Intermediate or Beginner group. I only attended two of the Saturday runs since I was usually racing or resting.

2019 FTC group

But I was excited to be part of it and support all the runners who would be finishing their FIRST 5k. And see my “advanced” buddies who would hopefully PR.

In past years, the day before I walked to Empire State Plaza concourse at lunch to go to the expo and pick up my race packet. They used to have a really big expo with vendors and health-related exhibits. But the past two years, they have held it at a local college. I was able to stop by after work. This year, the expo was much improved. I met up with a few friends and quickly browsed the booths and only bought a pair of sunglasses (Goodrs, what else? I’m obsessed.)

yup, you get cookies and bread

Earlier in the week, they had predicted rain, But the forecast changed and it was a pretty nice morning. – sunny and around 60.

I hate parking garages and traffic so I parked at a yoga place and walked to the start. I used to do this every year. However, with the new course, it was an even longer hike. Like 2 miles!

It was still strange to walk down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.

pics from 4 years ago…


The start was near a park across from the Capitol Building. I ran most of the way (about a mile) but then I bumped in a few people that I knew and I thought it rude to just run by.

I used to play tennis with Cindy. She has participated in all 41 Freihofer races (though now she just walks).

Finally I set off in search of the Freihofer Training Challenge tent.


I chatted with many of my running friends and took quite a few pics.

I also bumped into many runners wearing Skirt Sports skirts.

there were even more but we couldn’t find them in time for the pic

Catching up with everyone made the time go by quickly and soon it was time to line up.



Although it was very crowded, there were fewer runners than when it was Madison Avenue but it did seem to be more than last year (The loaded the corrals from the slowest to the fastest and everyone seemed to be in the correct corral).


Times Union photo 2016

Anyway, with the start (on a wider street), it didn’t take as long to get moving and the first hill was longer but not as steep.

heading up that hill

I started with Holly and Nancy from my FTC Group. I lost Holly behind me and Nancy (who is faster than both of us) surged ahead. I kept her in my sight but could never catch up to her. Right from the beginning, I had the feeling that my legs were moving but so slowly.

Smiling but it’s only the 1K point – my friend Holly (in orange) is still to my right

It was sunny at the start but then it got cloudy and HUMID!!! I felt very warm and thirsty.

When I got into the park and looked at my time, I was shocked at how slow it was. Usually mile 1 is my fastest.

I took this pic after the race

I continued to trudge along and couldn’t wait to walk at the first water stop around mile 1.25. (I was so thirsty.)

This course had you run around more of the park and it also seemed to avoid the bigger hills of the park.

I tried to pick up the pace for the second mile since the crowd had thinned out. I told myself that I would not walk until the next water stop. That was around mile 2.5. At this point, I was starting to get some energy.

leaving the park and trying to keep up with the youngsters

Kevin Morris Photograph (from FB)

Finally we left the park and headed downhill to the finish. Not the steep downhill that we used to have with the old course, but at least it was downhill.

At the 4k point – SOAR leader Karen (with unicorn headband) is to my right

I tried to run fast but I started my sprint too early and had no energy left as I approached the finish line. The humidity had really gotten to me. I walked briefly (Karen surged ahead) and then I picked up my pace as I crossed the finish line. At least it was under 28 minutes.

heading to the finish line

I knew with 3 walk breaks, I couldn’t come close to a PR (and I was not expecting one) but it was a decent time (even if it was slower than last year). I was happy!!

I grabbed some cookies and some chocolate milk. It was definitely less congested than when it was by the fountains on the Plaza. No long lines for food.


I ran into even more runners again that I knew. Every where I turned, there was someone familiar – from work, tennis, races, etc. That’s what’s great about running a big local race.

The first time runners were so excited. That put a smile on my face. I remembered why I love this race and it was never because of my awesome finish times.

I walked back to the Training Challenge Tent to get some more food and chatted with friends for awhile.


Many runners were excited about their PRs. I may not have run my fastest time but I still enjoyed myself.

You get what you put in. I did not do all the speed workouts so I can’t be disappointed. I also just ran a half marathon and I am no spring chicken. My time may not have been as fast as last year (a course PR of 27:37) but faster than two years ago (27:52). So I was very pleased with that.


mile 1- 9:10
mile 2- 8:54
mile 3 – 8:40
.14 – 6:47

Chip time – 27:47

Negative splits!!!! Woo Hoo!

There was computer set up so you could check your time and to see if you won an age group award.

And 5 out of 98 in my age group. Even a PR wouldn’t have gotten me an award. (Who is that lady from Boulder!?)

I hung out for a while in the FTC tent making plans for a post race brunch (the important things).

Sole Sisters +1 and -2

Eventually I walked back to my car. (It was uphill for about 2 miles). I walked part of the way with a friend Denise and we walked the along the last part of the course. We got to cheer those last few runners in…so cool!!

I have a 15K in a few weeks so I had planned to run another 3 miles. Brunch with friends was calling my name. And I am weak. Last year, I ran the extra miles. This year, I ate coconut crusted French toast.

So FRW #12 is in the books!

The tradition is still alive! It was again a great local race with over 3,500 women running it. Can’t wait to run it again next year.

On a side note: When I got home, I check IG and found this picture.

This is my friend who is in the midst of chemo treatments but drove from VT to do this race!  It puts everything in perspective!!

It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:  Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go? Do you have a favorite race that you run every year?


19 thoughts on “Freihofer Run for Women Race Recap

  1. My favorite quote is, “And I am weak. Last year, I ran the extra miles. This year, I ate coconut crusted French toast.” Brunch with friends is a great goal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great recap! This sounds like such a great event, and a huge event at that. Yes, your friend undergoing treatment does put things into perspective 😉 I have a co-worker undergoing chemo right now, and she has the best attitude. She admits to being tired, but she laughs about it and shrugs her shoulders because she knows it’s only a phase, and she has so much to look forward to. And, 5th place out of 98? That’s pretty impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Two miles is a long walk to a race start! I would run hard for a box of chocolate chip cookies — they look yummy! That’s a lot of race pics for a 5K – I am lucky to have one or two in a longer race. Are they expensive?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are pretty expensive and I would only buy if it were a special race and one came out good (which is rare).

      The walk is uphill in the way back. Ugh.


  4. Congrats on your race! I would love to do another all women’s race – it always feels so inspiring! I have an Earth Day-themed race that I run every year and I always enjoy seeing the familiar faces. Running a 22-minute 5K at age 69?? I can’t imagine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know this course! I think I’m more excited about doing this one with you than the other Albany one you said I should do.
    ” Last year, I ran the extra miles. This year, I ate coconut crusted French toast.”
    I so ❤ you
    Almost had Bailey's french toast yesterday but a lox platter tempted me more. Mm, salt
    No fair altitude runners invading the flat lands 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.