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Posted: April 30, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: Strong North American Field Lining Up for 31st Freihofer's Run for Women

DeReuck, Moody, Wiszowaty, Meyerhoff, Benoit Samuelson, Troncoso and Defending Masters champion Wiltse among top entrants

ALBANY, N.Y. - (April 29, 2009) - With a strong showing by American athletes at the Boston Marathon last week, it appears U.S. runners are poised to reassert themselves in a sport they haven't dominated since the 70s and 80s. The 31st Freihofer's Run for Women 5K road race, set for Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 10:15am in Albany, will be another showcase of top national talent, including those who could very well be the future of American women's running. The only person standing in their way, of course, is three-time defending champion Benita Johnson of Australia.

"I'm very pleased with the way the elite field is coming together this year," said Run for Women Elite Athlete Recruiter John Tope. "The race will have a good mixture of established runners and up-and-comers. It's always exciting to have the defending champion return and then see who will line up to challenge her."

In the Open field, Tera Moody of Boulder, Colo. has posted excellent results over the last year. She placed 5th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (2:33:54) last year and 2nd at the 2009 Shamrock Shuffle 8K.

Local phenomenon, Toni Wiszowaty, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., is an up-and-comer with equally impressive results. She's a six-time NCAA Division III All-American, the 2008 NCAA Division III Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year and finished 1st at the 2008 Penn Relays 10,000. Meanwhile, Sally Meyerhoff, of Tempe, Ariz., another contender, recently finished 7th at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, where she made history by setting the U.S. record for a women's-only race in a time of 54:38.

The Masters division (40 and older) promises to be just as competitive, if not more so. Four-time Olympian Colleen De Reuck, 45, is fresh off her 8th place overall finish at the Boston Marathon. In her last appearance in New York's capital city (2004), De Reuck grabbed the headlines with her 3rd place 15:48 finish - a time that shattered Ruth Wysocki's 16:06 Masters world record set here in 1997.

Challenging De Reuck will be five-time Masters race champion, Carmen Troncoso, who placed first at the Master 2008 National Cross Country Championship 6K, along with crowd favorite (and icon) Joan Benoit Samuelson, defending Masters race champ Paula Wiltse, Anzelika Averkova and Patty Murray.

"The master's field is shaping up to be the best we've ever assembled," said Event Director George Regan. "What we have in essence is the best Canadian Masters runner, Paula Wiltse, who won almost every race she entered last year, including Freihofer's, and the best U.S. Masters runner, Colleen De Reuck, who holds the course and World Masters records here at Freihofer's. The Masters competition will be spectacular."

Still more than a month away, the Freihofer's Run for Women, a Running USA Founding Member, has runners committed from more than 10 countries, all vying for a piece of the $27,000 purse, of which $10,000 is earmarked for the winner. This year's 31st edition will also include the USA 10K Open and Junior Race Walk Championships featuring some of the nation's top race walkers.

A 30-minute Freihofer's Run for Women TV special will air Saturday, May 30 at 10:30pm on Fox 23 News. With complete "unofficial" result of all 5K runners listed in the Sunday edition of the Times Union Newspaper.

To register for the Freihofer's Run for Women, or for more information about the Freihofer's Run for Women, the Freihofer's Community Walk, Freihofer's Kids' Run and CapitalCare Health & Fitness Expo, visit www.FreihofersRun.com. From the home page, check out the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.


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