Red-hot Kosgei joins field for 30th annual Freihofer's Run
for Women on May 31:
In-Form Kenyan Joined by British Olympian Butler; Ethopian Duo Erkesso and Gobena and Hansons-Brooks Distance Project Team
ALBANY, NY (May 14, 2008) - Although Australia's Benita Johnson will certainly be the odds-on favorite to defend her Freihofer's Run for Women title on Saturday, May 31st in Albany, N.Y., race organizers today announced additions to the field that indicate that a three-peat is far from assured.
"I'm delighted with the caliber of the field that we have put together this year," said Event Director George Regan. "It's most fitting that, for our 30th race, this should be one of our best elite rosters ever. And, we may have more top class additions to announce before the race begins."
Rose Kosgei from Kenya may be the woman most likely to apply pressure to Johnson at the front of the field. The 26-year-old has shown evidence of fine racing form and impeccable tactics winning both the Union-Tribune 8K in San Diego on May 4th (29:34) and the Medtronic TC One Mile in Minneapolis on May 8th (4:37). On both occasions, Kosgei did all that she needed to do just to deny her competition, indicative of an impressive racing range and the capacity to dig much deeper.
British 2004 Olympian Kathy Butler will also be among those forcing the pace at the front of the field. In addition to placing 12th in the Athens Olympic 10,000m, the 34-year-old has accumulated impressive credentials on the US circuit, including a victory in the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX last year, 10th place in last fall's steamy LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, and a seventh place finish in April's Carlsbad 5000m. With a 5000m PB of 15:05.51, Butler is sure to be a Freihofer's contender.
An Ethiopian duo - Teyba Erkesso and Amane Gobena - must also not be overlooked. They placed third and seventh respectively in the 2007 FRW and return for the 2008 fray with the advantage of course knowledge - always key in this race - and the determination to place further up the field than 12 months ago.
The American delegation is powerful, to say the least. Indeed one of the most intimidating groups lining up on the streets of Albany will be women from the Brooks-Hansons Distance Project. Based in Rochester Hills, MI, this training group has developed some of the hottest distance running names currently emerging on the US road-racing scene.
Four of them - Melisssa White, Desiree Davila, Dot McMahan and Yolanda Flamino - have confirmed their appearance at Freihofer's. All four contested the highly competitive US women's Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston on April 20th, so recovery will play a role in how they fare in the Freihofer's 5K. Competitive aggression is a fundamental feature of the Hansons team, however, and will certainly be in evidence come race day.
With more names still to be announced in the elite Freihofer's field, the 30th running of this celebrated race will be one to be remembered. "The winner, whether she's from Australia, Africa, Great Britain, or right here in the US of A will take home $10,000," enthused Regan. "That's one big incentive. This will be a fantastic race. That's guaranteed."
A 30-minute Freihofer's Run for Women TV special will air Saturday, May 31 at 10:30 p.m. on FOX23 News. An encore presentation will be shown Sunday, June 1 at 5:30 p.m. (or at the conclusion of NASCAR's race from Dover International Speedway) on VTV - the Variety Channel on digital channel 23.2. VTV is also available to Time Warner Cable digital cable subscribers on channel 423.
To register for the Freihofer's Run for Women, or for more information about the Freihofer's Run for Women festival of events, including the Freihofer's Community Walk, Freihofer's Kids' Run and CapitalCare Health & Fitness Expo, visit freihofersrun.com.
Event sponsors include the Charles Freihofer Baking Company (a division of George Weston Bakeries Inc.), Price Chopper Supermarkets, The City of Albany, Fox 23 News, B95.5, and host hotel 74 State.