The Freihofers Run for Women is a race that lives up to its hype. I first ran it in 2013 and loved the atmosphere and running through my then neighborhood. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't run it in 14 but I nearly didn't run it this year. I hadn't registered, but was meant to man the Ragnar info booth so I suspected that by being at the expo, I'd walk away with a bib in hand. Ragnar ended up not having a table, but by Friday afternoon I decided to go register.
Marcy refuses to sleep in, so I was up at 5:45 per usual. Normally I'd love the idea of a late morning race, but I knew it would be sunny, muggy, and hot later. I was up anyways and running a few errands before heading downtown for the race. The last time I ran this race, it started on Madison ave and I lived three blocks away. I was concerned about the parking/road closures after getting stuck in the cluster that was the corporate challenge. I parked near the Hollow and hiked up the hill to the start/finish area.
I had plenty of time to use the bathroom and walk/run around and try to loosen up. I didn't have any real goals, but I wasn't planning on taking it easy, since I've just started my Boilermaker training, I was curious to see the base.
Freihofers has assigned corrals, and admittedly I could have started just a bit further back, but my 5k time put me in the yellow corral. They announce when runners should line up and it all seemed very organized. The race director spoke, our Mayor spoke (and ran!) before the national anthem was played on the city halls bells which was accompanied by all the woman singing softly. After that, we were off. While Friehofers is a local favorite, it also brings an international field so those fast ladies took off and I started my run.
I immediately felt hot and winded. I focused on regulating my breathing. The seeded corrals take away the excessive weaving and I felt strong as I entered the park. By the time I hit the first mile my breathing caught up to my legs and I was having a good run. During my three years in aAlbany I spent a lot of time running in the park, it felt good to be back.
After our jaunt in the park, we were back on state street heading towards the finish, at this point I knew what time it was and was secretly hoping for 28 and change for a second best PR. I didn't have enough in the tank to make it happened and I crossed at 29:05.
I sat and watched some of the other women come in for a few minutes before grabbing an apple & orange and driving back home. And of course I had a few celebratory cookies.
I am very pleased with how the race went, I have a few running goals floating around in my head and a solid race helps with the motivation and confidence to work towards achieving them.
Personally I loved the new course. Parking was easy, corrals well organized, and plenty of water. My only wish, is that it started earlier than 9:30.