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home > news > top news > u.s. veterans, newcomers set to take on rest of world at freihofer's run for women

U.S. Veterans, Newcomers Set to Take on Rest of World at Freihofer's Run for Women

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Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013

ALBANY, NY (May 17, 2013) — With U.S. athletes showing strongly at last month’s Boston Marathon, it appears that American runners are starting to reassert themselves in a sport they haven't dominated for almost four decades.

The 35th anniversary Freihofer’s Run for Women (FRW) 5K, set for June 1, 2013 at 9:45 a.m. in Albany, NY, will be another showcase of top national talent, including those who could very well become the future of American women's distance running.

Leading the charge in the open division will be Michelle Frey, 31, (Minneapolis, MN), who finished a strong 6th — making her the top American — at last year’s Freihofer’s (16:03). A seven-time state champion for Iowa City High School before earning All-Big Ten honors at the University of Wisconsin, Frey appears to have overcome a series of niggling plantar fasciitis and hamstring injuries. She finished 22nd at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (2:37:03).

Pushing her for the lead throughout will likely be FRW veterans Tera Moody, 32, (Colorado Springs, CO) and Esther Erb, 28, (Blowing Rock, NC). Moody continues to prove herself as one of the toughest American runners around having placed sixth at the Houston Marathon (2:39:10), second behind Mattie Suver at the GO! St. Louis half marathon (1:12:34) and 3rd at last Saturday’s USA 25 km Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich. Erb, meanwhile, the fourth American finisher across the line at last year’s event (16:48), knows the Freihofer’s course intimately and will certainly use that inside knowledge to her advantage.

"Athlete recruiter John Tope has done another stellar job assembling a deep American field for our event,” said longtime FRW Event Director George Regan, noting that the women will vie for a piece of the $27,000 purse, $10,000 of which is earmarked for the winner. “Any of these women has the ability to pose a real threat to the international field.”

Further bolstering the American elite field will be a trio of newcomers eager to become the first North American woman to reclaim the title last won by American Marla Runyan in 2004. These long distance stars include:

Sarah Crouch (Hockinson, WA), a 13-time All-American at Western Washington University. A member of ZAP Fitness, Crouch was the 2011 National Champion in the 10,000m in a meet record of 33:17. She has had a consistent start to the new year and has run 2nd 2013 Reedy River Run 10K, 3rd 2013 USATF 10-Mile Championships and 9th 2013 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile.

McKenzie Melander (Apple Valley, MN), a graduate of the University of Iowa where she was the Big Ten 5000m Champion and the runner-up in the Big Ten 10,000m in 2012. She also was 12th in the 5000m at the NCAA West Regional and qualified for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Currently a member of Team USA Minnesota, she placed 4th at the Fifth Season 8K (27:08), 10th at the Bix 7 Mile (39:07), as well as represented the U.S. at the Edinburgh International Cross-Country.

Amy Van Alstine (Midland Park, NJ), a 2011 graduate from the University of Richmond. During her high school career, Van Alstine was a State Group 1 cross-country champion for Midland Park High School and attained All-Atlantic 10 and All-American status as a distance runner in college. Currently competing with Flagstaff, Ariz.-based adidas-McMillanElite — a post-collegiate program for runners who compete over distances from 5K to the marathon — she finished 2nd at last weekend’s 2013 Newport 10,000 in Jersey City and was runner-up at the 2013 Sun Angel Classic 1500m in Tempe, AZ.

(See full U.S. runner bios/stats at

To register or for more information on the 2013 Freihofer’s Run for Women, Freihofer’s Community Walk, Freihofer’s Kids’ Run, Freihofer’s Junior 3K and the CapitalCare/CDPHP Health & Fitness Expo, visit From the home page, you can also link to the event’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

To assist victims of last month's Boston Marathon bombings, event organizers will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the “Boston Strong” necklace and runner's bandana to The One Fund Boston, Inc. Purchases for these items, as well as 35th anniversary apparel and a limited edition commemorative poster, can be made at the FRW store (

Event sponsors include the Charles Freihofer Baking Company, Price Chopper Supermarkets, CSC, The City of Albany, FOX23, the Times Union, and 99.5 The River.

Freihofer's, a leading baker of wholesome products, is committed to fostering the growth and recognition of women in sports and inspiring all generations of women to experience the benefits of exercise and good nutrition. Freihofer's continues to set the pace by sponsoring the annual Freihofer's Run for Women 5K. Now in its 35th year, the event, which is home to the Masters World & U.S. All-Comers record, features thousands of women of all ages and abilities from Olympians to recreational joggers, who challenge themselves on the picturesque 3.1-mile course. For more information, visit



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