The new event is in addition to the women’s 5K and the kid’s run.
From: Running USA
ALBANY, N.Y. — Organizers of the Freihofer’s Run for Women, one of the world’s premier 5K road races, plan to launch a 3K this year for children who have outgrown the Freihofer’s Kids’ Run, but are not yet ready to tackle longer distances with a competitive field.
Called the “Freihofer’s Junior 3K Run”, the competitive, timed 1.86-mile road race will be open to girls and boys ages nine to 13. The event will begin at 11:00am on Saturday, June 4th and will use the same start and finish line as the 5K.
“For kids who have outgrown our Kids’ Run mile, this distance gives them another option,” said Freihofer’s Junior 3K Run Race Director Paul Turner. “The new run will also be used as a culminating event for those schools currently using our Freihofer’s Kids’ Run training program.”
The 2011 Freihofer’s Junior 3K Run will be a pilot program and will not be open to the general public. Participants will come from the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners’ “Just Run Albany” schools program, a fitness initiative currently taught at 12 schools and youth organizations in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. Also eligible will be children at schools that currently use the established Freihofer’s Kids’ Run training program, as well as those who belong to a USAFT club team.
“We want to make sure kids are properly trained to participate,” stressed Turner, who expects a field of more than 600 runners to toe the line on Saturday, June 4th. “We’ve seen in the 5K that many of our younger entrants get to 800m and then lose steam. By requiring entrants to be properly trained, kids won’t get in over their heads. They will be aware of the appropriate pacing and we’ll eliminate any safety concerns.”
“Helping our students understand the benefits of being healthy and fit is an important part of the work our schools do every day,” added City School District of Albany Superintendent Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D. “Just like the skills they learn in ELA, math, science and social studies, these are skills our young people will carry with them throughout their lives. We are excited that Freihofer’s has provided our students with the opportunity to be part of this exceptional new Junior 3K Run. It is a great opportunity for our young people to continue to learn how good it feels to be in shape and healthy.”
To help motivate youngsters for the new 3K event, organizers will implement a mentoring program featuring elite runners from the Freihofer’s Run for Women’s 18-year-old Elite Athlete School Visitation Program.
Already signed on to assist with the 3K mentoring initiative is three-time Freihofer’s Run for Women champion Benita Willis, who competed for Australia in three Olympic games (2008 marathon, 2004 10,000m, and 2000 5000m). She’ll be joined by Tera Moody, a member of the 2009 U.S. World Championship Marathon team, and Team USA Minnesota’s Megan Hogan, a Ballston Spa native who earned All-American cross-country honors at George Washington University, and who recently finished 9th at the 2011 Mt. SAC 5000m (15:29.9).
Over the next four weeks, Willis, Moody and Hogan will adopt two local schools each and take part in web conferences using Voxwire software provided by Run for Women technology partner, TurnKey Internet. During the calls, which are slated to take place during the first and third weeks in May, runners will discuss their training schedules, world travel, trips to the Olympic Games, and share healthy eating habits. They then will visit their adopted schools when they come to Albany prior to the Freihofer’s Run for Women in early June.
Schools slated to participate in the web conferences include: Green Meadow School, Guilderland Elementary School, Golding Middle School (Cobleskill), Walter B. Howard (New Lebanon), Albany Prep Charter School and New Scotland Elementary School in the City School District of Albany.
“Our 3K mentors are world-class athletes who have tremendous experience with our Elite Athlete School Visitation Program,” said Freihofer’s Run for Women Event Director George Regan. “They will give our participants a positive role model to connect with and help establish a healthy lifestyle at an early age.”
For more information about the Freihofer’s Junior 3K Run, 33rd Freihofer’s Run for Run for Women, 24th Freihofer’s Kids’ Run, 23rd Freihofer’s Community Walk, and the 9th CapitalCare Health & Fitness Expo, visit freihofersrun.com. From the home page, link to the event’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.