ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Early Saturday morning, local and even international athletes came to the Capital Region for the annual 5k event that has become one of the largest annual traditions for the area. Nanette Hatch, Director of Development, said that hundreds of volunteers were needed to help the 3,000 runners that attended.

“We have over 300 volunteers here today,” Hatch said. “Doing everything, from helping us set up this morning to helping out runners get through this race.”

This is the 45th year for the run, and folks like Event Director Kristen Hislop were grateful that the weather went from a heat wave on Friday… to a well-needed cool spring day for all of the runners.

“It’s just incredible. It’s such a celebration,” she said. “I mean, 45 years of an event with a title sponsor like Freihofer’s is phenomenal.

There were hundreds of runners representing companies and organizations, and there were also those like Purity Muneene who were just looking for the opportunity. Muneene traveled from South Carolina to be a part of the race.

“We just checked on the website for running, and we see this run,” she said. “And I told my friend that we have to go and empower women.”

And many felt the same. A group of women represented the Northern Rivers- Neil Hellman School in Albany. For one of the team members, the run empowered her.”

“It’s something I’m gonna check off my bucket list,” she said. “This year has been a year ‘for me,’ so training for this has really helped, and just being here with thousands of women. Women power all the way!”

The Albany Chapter of Black Girls Run had seen its own transformation over the years. The Ambassador for the chapter, Olivia Frempong, remembers how it was just her and a few friends who attended for the first time. Now, the chapter has grown its membership into the hundreds.

“We are celebrating seven years in the Capital Region,” Frempong said. “I have over 800 members in our chapter, and today we’re making history at Freihofers Run for Women… It’s the largest team with over 230 women on the pavement representing today!”

Organizers for the run already have plans to start prepping for next year’s event tomorrow. But their Event Director says that they are excited to continue the tradition.

“It is a culmination of a lot of work,” she said. “But the celebration, the smiles, the tears, the hugs-it’s all worth it.”