ALBANY. N.Y. (NEWS10) — The 44th Freihofer’s Run for Women hit the streets of downtown Albany Saturday morning. The race raises money and awareness for women’s health and fitness, empowering women and giving back to local organizations that do so much for the Capital Region.

“Empowering women and giving them the chance to do something they do not think they can do, because of the stories that come out of here,” Kristen Hislop, Race Director, said. “People do this and then they start to believe in themselves and then they go out and achieve amazing things.” 

One racer, Eleonora Morrell, was surprised by her family, who cheered from the sidelines after she donated a kidney and saved her niece’s life.

“Having her here and knowing she will be here for the rest of her life for a simple gift, it’s a simple gift,” Morrell said.

A time-honored tradition in the Capital Region with some racers running every year since the beginning. 66-year-old Denise Herman received an award for running all 44 races.

“When I first started in 1979, there were probably 300 women and now there’s 3,000, what does that tell you,” Herman said. “It’s an amazing race.” The race helps the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, Girls on the Run, and Albany Medical Center.

At the event, members of the Albany Police Department (APD) honor guard presented the colors for the National Anthem prior to the 5K race. APD patrol officers were posted throughout the race to assist with traffic control, help those in attendance, and ensure everyone remained safe.