By Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
June 1, 2013
For the second time in four years, Kenya’s Emily Chebet triumphed at the Freihofer’s Run for Women, held for the 35th time today in hot weather in Albany, N.Y. The 27-year-old from Bomet timed 15:26 for the 5 kilometer, certified course through New York’s state capital city.
A lead pack of three would break away in the opening mile, featuring Chebet, the two-time IAAF World Cross Country champion, and fellow Kenyans Esther Chemtai and Isabella Ochichi. Passing one mile in 5:05 and two miles in 10:12, the group found themselves well ahead of chasers Amy Van Alstine, Amane Gobena and Merima Mohammed.
Chebet, as she was in 2010 when setting a course record of 15:11.1, proved to be the class of the field in the final kilometer. Leaving Washington Park and making her way onto Madison Avenue with less than a half-mile remaining, Chebet separated herself from Chemtai and Ochichi.
“We were right together,” Chebet told race organizers. “Then I said to myself, ‘Go!'”
Chebet would break the tape in 15:26, well short of her course record time, though a respectable mark considering the temperatures: in the mid-80’s Fahrenheit range (approaching 30 degrees Celsius).
“Obviously, the heat was a concern,” said Freihofer’s Run for Women event director George Regan. “The most important thing was for all of our runners to finish comfortably and safely.”
Finishing second and third were Chemtai and Ochichi, 15:32 and 15:35, respectively. Van Alstine, who formerly raced at Richmond University, was the top American in fourth, earning $2,000 with a time of 16:01.
A total of 5,045 women started the all female race, an event record.
“We had a record field, a fantastic race and wonderful champion. What more could you want for a 35th birthday present?” said Regan, talking of the race’s 35th anniversary run. “This was a great day for Albany.”
Also, Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Samuelson placed second in the 50+ age group to Texan Carmen Troncoso, two seconds behind the latter in 18:58. Poland’s Dorota Gruca earned her second master’s title in a row, timing 17:00.