Race Recap: Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K

4 Jun

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of running the 35th Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K. This was my first time racing in this very popular and prestigious event. It is hailed to be the “premier women’s 5K in the nation” and features elite and Olympic athletes among thousands of women of varying fitness levels. The race atmosphere is incredibly supportive,  empowering, and inspiring.

The day was hot – it was a humid and sunny 90 degrees (F). For me, that meant I needed to be really attuned to my body to be sure I wasn’t overdoing it. Passing out or puking were not on my list of goals for the day! Throughout all the festivities, race officials emphasized taking care of ourselves due to the heat and ensured there was plenty of water available.

stretch rbb

Time to stretch!

I just have to share this next photo with you. I asked Mark to take a picture of my Boston Strong BIC Band and he got this awesome shot:

profile rbbMy best friend (and maid of honor) Vicki also ran and we got to spend a lot of time hanging out before and after the race. She rocked an awesome PR and I am so happy for her!

nikkivickirbbAs I mentioned, this is a very popular race. Over 5,000 women crossed the finish line! Here we are at the start:

(Source: Times Union)

The course is beautiful and starts in downtown Albany by the Egg and NYS Museum and winds through Washington Park in a nice loop that finishes downhill. Luckily, there were some nice stretches of shade to help diffuse the heat from the sun! Spectators also lined the course, so the cheering never stopped.

As for me, I can honestly say I ran my own race. I kept a strong but conservative pace and checked in with myself regularly. Dousing myself with water at each station definitely helped. For the last .25 mile to the finish, I kicked it into gear and ended up with a neat little PR of 23:12. I felt great!

blurryfinish

Heading toward the finish (in a blur!)

(copyright freihofersrun5k)

After finishing, I immediately headed straight to the water truck and let myself get drenched in icy cold water. It was amazing.

There was a camera recording at the finish line from the time winner Emily Chebet of Kenya finished in 15:26 until the very last runner crossed. Check it out! If you fast forward to 8:00, you will see me coming down the middle and crossing the finish line to the right at about 8:06.

In response to the Boston Marathon bombings, security at the event was tight and there was a very visible police presence. Some of the measures presented minor inconveniences, but everything went smoothly and safely.

Another great thing about this event is the swag. A 2-day health and fitness expo featured a lot of goodies, free massages, autographs with Joan Benoit Samuelson, and so on. And like I mentioned before, they gave out cookies and bread with registration.

20130531-215514.jpgAfter the race, there was a whole tent area full of refreshments for runners. I grabbed what I could, but there was even more available! Yes, that’s a whole box of mini donuts…

lootOverall, this race was a wonderful experience and I am so glad I signed up! Hopefully I will be making it an ongoing tradition.

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4 Responses to “Race Recap: Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K”

  1. Mark Hoffman June 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    The “time to stretch” picture is a nice one, Nikki 🙂 congrats on running so well on such a hot day.

  2. Diana June 5, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Congrats on the PR!

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