42nd annual Freihofer’s Run for Women canceled, virtual 5k offered

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ALBANY, N.Y. — With the continued importance of social distancing stemming from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), officials at the Freihofer’s Run for Women (FRW) today announced that the event’s 42nd edition on Saturday, May 30 has been cancelled and a virtual 5K option offered to those interested.

“Since 1979, the Freihofer’s Run for Women has encountered snow, torrential downpours, high winds and oppressive heat, but never a global pandemic like the one posed by the COVID-19 virus,” said FRW Co-Director Kristen Hislop. “With the current distancing guidelines in place from New York state, we felt we had to take this action. Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our participants and their families, volunteers, spectators and sponsors.

“While we are heartbroken to cancel all events related to the event and postponing wasn’t an option for a number of different reasons, we felt we must find a way to keep the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K going, since it’s a spring tradition dating back more than 40 years,” she continued. “As a result, we will offer a virtual Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K for those who would like to participate.  Our virtual 5K is a great way for women to keep their Freihofer’s Run for Women streak alive and accomplish a personal goal, while supporting the race’s local charities — The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s COVID-19 Fund, Albany Medical Center Foundation and Girls on the Run.”

The Freihofer’s Run for Women is offering three options to the 1,100 participants who have already registered: 1) Switch to the virtual 5K 2) Donate their race entry fee to FRW’s charity partners (and receive a commemorative 2020 race t-shirt), or 3) Receive a full registration refund. Those requesting a refund need to do so by midnight on Wednesday, April 15. Each of the three options can be completed at this link: https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Albany/FreihofersRunforWomen

“We at the Freihofer’s brand believe that every little bit helps right now,” said Mary Pensiero, associate brand manager, Bimbo Bakeries USA. “For this reason, we plan to waive our no refund policy and offer full refunds to those that want them.”

Those interested in signing up for the virtual 5K can do so can do so by using the same link through Tuesday, May 5 at midnight. Registration is $25 and there will be no further price increases. All virtual 5K participants will receive a 42nd annual virtual Freihofer’s Run for Women t-shirt, a bib and finisher’s certificate that can be printed out at home, a commemorative finishers’ medal and coupons for Freihofer’s products. These items will be mailed to participants by the first week in June.

Virtual 5K participants will be asked to complete a 5K run by themselves following CDC- and New York state-mandated social distancing guidelines between Saturday, May 23 at 6 a.m. through Sunday, May 31 at 11 p.m.

“You can run this 5K anywhere.  If you have a 3.1-mile route in your neighborhood, you can run on that course and it will count,” said FRW Co-Director Patrick Lynskey, adding that those registered for the virtual 5K will receive an email with detailed instructions a few days before the start date. “We will also provide links on our website to several local certified 5K routes that can be used to complete the virtual FRW. Once participants complete their 5K, they will be asked to submit their times via the link provided to them along with a photo of their watch/GPS/RaceJoy map.  All times must be submitted by Sunday, May 31 at 11 p.m. Results will then be compiled and posted online at freihofersrun.com.

“In this time of necessary social distancing, road races are being cancelled nationwide and we understand how disappointing this can be,” added Lynskey. “However, it’s a small inconvenience compared to the health and economic difficulties people are currently facing. The focus of our virtual 5K isn’t about winning. It’s about staying active, celebrating our strength and resilience and supporting local charities that benefit our local community. So, while we can’t all gather on Washington Avenue for that spectacular start and finish, we can all run a 5K and for that we’re all extremely grateful!”

All participants in the virtual 5K will be entered to win various giveaways from area merchants. Prizes include free gym memberships, gift certificates, and an array of products or services.

Race organizers also plan to offer the Freihofer’s Junior 3K in a virtual format, provided that more than 50 entrants are registered before Friday, May 1. All participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt, finisher’s medal and certificate through the mail by the first week in June.

To view frequently asked questions for the event’s virtual 5K and Junior 3K, please visit: https://freihofersrun.com/virtual-5k.

For more information, visit freihofersrun.com. From the home page, you can also link to the event’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube pages.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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