ALBANY, N.Y. -- As one of the premiere 5K races in the country, the 35th Annual Freihofer's Run for Women has attracted a number of elite runners, including seven Olympians.
Saturday's 35th edition of the Freihofer's Run for Women will be the event's biggest field yet. The event draws top International and American women distance runners, as well as more than 5,000 women from the Capital Region and across the nation.
"We have seven Olympians and one world champion, but they make up a small portion," Event Director George Regan said. "We have thousands of other women, so it's mostly recreational."
From triathletes to recreational runners, the race brings a blend of tradition, participation and competition for a $10,000 Grand Prize to the Capital Region. The 5K begins race at 9:45 a.m., at the Empire State Plaza on Saturday, June 1.
Heading into the weekend that is expected to keep temperatures in the 90s, heat exhaustion it something the runners and organizers are remaining mindful of.
"It's going to affect everybody the same, but I think it's going to affect the elites the most," Regan said.
Regan said the start time was changed, as they were trying to remain conscientious of the high heat and humidity anticipated during the race. He reminded all participants to remain hydrated and to know their limits.
For those who want to participate, but have not yet registered, last chance registration will be available from noon to 7 p.m. Friday at the CapitalCare/CDPHP Health & Fitness Expo inside the Convention Hall at the Empire State Plaza. There will no registration opportunities the day of the event.
In addition to drawing elite runners to participate, the Run for Women also includes an Elite Athlete Visitation Program, an initiative that began in 1993 to provide local youths the opportunity to meet athletes and hear about their training, travels, Olympic Games experiences and healthy eating habits. Over the three-day period, nine elite runners visited 18 Capital Region schools to speak to more than 5,000 children.
"This will be my fifth time racing in Albany," said Tera Moody, one of the elite runners participating Saturday.
Moody has won the 2013 Shamrock Run 8K, 2013 Lakefront 10 Mile, 2010 Shamrock Shuffle 8K and 2010 Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon. Along with a number of other accomplishments, Moody also placed 5th in 2008 at the USA Olympic Marathon Trials and 9th at the 2009 Chicago Marathon.
Moody said that she had missed participating in the Freihofer's Run for Women for a couple of years because of an injury, but she still enjoyed participating in the Elite Athlete Visitation Program.
"I've been going to a lot of the school's talking to the kids about living a healthy lifestyle," Moody said. "It's really nice to interact with community and have a positive influence on the kids."
Thousands of spectators are expected to line the route, which starts and finishes on Madison Avenue, between the Empire State Plaza and the New York State Museum. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, police said they would be watching the area with extra vigilance over the weekend. Heightened security measures will be visible as thousands of women take over downtown Albany, with police presence having already increased along Madison Avenue as early as Friday morning.
Authorities have asked race participants and spectators to report any suspicious activity, along with adhering to following security guidelines:
• Backpacks, coolers, and duffle bags will not be permitted at the race venue.
• Anything brought onsite must be transported in a clear plastic bag for easy inspection.
• No animals, dogs or domestic pets (with the exception of service dogs) will be allowed on-site due to the presence of police dog patrols.
• Photo identification is required.
Whether running or just watching, you will also need to be aware of a number of parking restrictions and road closures.
A shuttle bus service from the Corning Preserve Public Boat Launch parking area (under I-787) to the event site will be available. To access these lots, take Exit 4A off I-787 south.
Emergency No Parking, May 31st at 6PM until June 1st at 6PM:
• Madison Avenue, both sides from Eagle Street to S. Swan Street
Emergency No Parking, June 1st 12:01AM -1PM:
• All roads in Washington Park - both sides of all interior roadways
• Madison Avenue, both sides from S. Swan Street to Willett Street
Emergency No Parking, June 1st 5AM-1PM:
• Lake Avenue, both sides from Hudson Avenue to Western Avenue
• Western Avenue, both sides from Lake Avenue to Sprague Place/Washington Avenue
• Washington Avenue, both sides from Sprague Place/Western Avenue to Henry Johnson Boulevard
• Henry Johnson Boulevard, both sides from Washington Avenue to State Street
• State Street, south side east of S. Swan Street from Plaza Driveway west 6 spaces at
Motorists should note that Madison Avenue will be closed between Eagle and Swan Streets from 6 p.m. on Friday, May 31st through 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 1st.
Road Closure: May 31st 6PM until June 1st at 6PM
• Madison Avenue, eastbound and westbound between Eagle Street and S. Swan Street
Road Closure: June 1st 12:01AM-1PM
• Washington Park - all park roadways (including Henry Johnson Boulevard between State Street and Madison Avenue)
Road Closures: June 1st 8AM-1PM
• Madison Avenue from S. Swan Street to New Scotland Avenue
• S. Swan Street from Elm Street to Hamilton Street
• Dove Street from Hamilton Street to Jefferson Street
• Lark Street from Hamilton Street to Madison Avenue
• Delaware Avenue from Jefferson Street to Madison Avenue
• Knox Street from Dana Avenue to Madison Avenue
• S. Lake Avenue from Madison Avenue Western Avenue
• N. Lake Avenue from Western Avenue to Washington Avenue
• Western Avenue from Cortland St to Washington Avenue
• Sprague Place from Western Avenue to State Street
• Washington Avenue from Lexington Avenue to Central Avenue
• Robin Street from Washington Avenue to State Street
• State Street from Robin Street to Willett Street
• Hudson Avenue from Lark Street to Willett Street
• Lancaster Street from Lark Street to Willett Street
• Willett Street from Madison Avenue to State Street
The following streets will be closed to traffic for the Freihofer's Community Walk from 12:00-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 1st:
• S. Swan Street/Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd between Morton Avenue and Madison Avenue
• Jefferson St from Dove to Swan
• Elm St from Dove to Swan
• Irving St from Dove to Swan
• Myrtle Ave from Dove to Swan
• Park Ave from Dove St to Eagle Street
• Lincoln Park, all roadways between Eagle Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.