Organizers for the Freihofer's Run for Women have announced that this year's field of American runners will be the deepest since 2004, the last year that the race hosted the USA Track & Field Women's 5K National Championships. Among the Americans are three local runners, including former Saratoga Springs standout, Nicole Blood.
Blood, 23, joined the Oregon Track Club Elite team in the fall of 2010 after graduating from the University of Oregon where she was a nine-time All-American and three-time Academic All-American. While at Oregon, she set the school record in the indoor 5K (in a time of 15:51.59) and won four Pac-10 Championships. She was a 2008 U.S. Olympi Team Trials competitor and a 2010 USA Track & Field Championships qualifier.
Joining Blood is Loudonville native Elizabeth Maloy, 25. Maloy finished 10th in last year's Freihofer's Run for Women in a time of 15:53. She was a four-time All-American at Georgetown University and she recently placed 3rd at the 2011 Mt. Sac 5000m with a new PR of 15:19.87.
Rounding out the local elites is Ballston Spa native Megan Hogan, 23. Hogan finished 9th in the 2011 Mt. Sac 5000m in 15:29.9 and she was an All-American in cross country at George Washington University.
Event Director George Regan says that he expects "all of these local women to stay right with our international field."
But in addition to those international runners, the local elites will face more Americans including 35-year-old Rebecca Donaghue. Donaghue finished just in front of Maloy in last year's race, in 15:50, and was the top American. Recently, Donaghue finished 8th at the 2011 Gate River Run 15K.
Two other Americans, Alissa McKaig and Emily Brown, are newcomers to the Freihofer's Run for Women. McKaig recently finished 8th at the 2011 Mt. Sac 5000m and will be part of the USA 2011 World Marathon Team that will compete in Daegu, South Korea. Brown was a four-time All-American at the University of Minnesota who recently placed 12th at the 2011 Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K.
The deep American field assembled by the event organizers answers some critics of the decision to open the race to non-US runners in 2005 (for the first time since 1992). At the time, one of the concerns expressed was that the elite race would be dominated by the international field, at the exlcusion of American runners. The strong 2011 American field, however, shows that the Freihofer's Run for Women is still a premiere road race for the elite American women. The finish on June 4th on Madison Avenue should prove to be an exciting one.
For more information about the Freihofer's Run for Women, visit their web site.