ALBANY, N.Y. – (May 3, 2010) – For Teyba Erkesso, the last two years have been nothing short of spectacular.
The 27-year-old Ethiopian has gone from “up-and-comer” to “the one to watch” and now, after her victory at this year’s Boston Marathon, “the one to beat” at almost any road race she enters.
Erkesso’s versatility, in fact, makes her dangerous on almost any course she sets foot on, at almost any distance. Now, with one of the marathon’s “crown jewels” under her belt, Erkesso(credit: Jeff Foley) is setting her sights once again on the 5K distance – specifically, defending her title at the 32nd edition of the Freihofer’s Run for Women, scheduled for Saturday, June 5 at 10:00am in Albany, N.Y.
“It’s always important for an event to have its defending champion back,” said Freihofer’s Run for Women Event director George Regan. “Obviously, the 5K distance is different from the marathon, but it requires the same amount of focus and will to win.”
Elite athlete recruiter John Tope echoes these sentiments. “It’s great to see your defending champion return,” he maintained. “There are few people who can run 5K to marathon and be successful, and Erkesso’s one of those people.”
It’s been a busy year so far for Erkesso. In January, she set a new course record at the Chevron Houston Marathon, successfully defending her title with a time of 2:23:53. She placed fourth at the RAK Half-Marathon in February, before going on to win the race of her life at the Boston Marathon.
According to Tope, “Erkesso’s very unusual in the fact she ran the Houston Marathon in January and then Boston in April – and won both. You just don’t see elites do that very often. Having athletes the caliber of Teyba, three-time race champion Benita Willis (Johnson) and others reinforces that Freihofer’s is one of the premier women’s races in the United States.”
For her part, Erkesso says she’s grateful to compete once again in New York’s capital city. And she clearly remembers what it was like to win her first Freihofer’s Run for Women title just 12 months ago.
“I was very tired because I had competed in three races in less than three weeks,” she recalled. “What motivated me to push myself to the maximum and to win the race was that this unique 5K is for women only. When I woke up that morning, I said I was running for every woman around the world. This is what made me forget the muscle aches and push myself to win the race.”
“When Erkesso runs, she produces exciting results,” stressed Regan. “I don’t see that being any different here in Albany this June.”
With only four weeks remaining till race day, organizers are pulling together yet another stellar professional field for the event, which is the only 5K road race in the U.S. to hold the “silver” label designation by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the sport’s worldwide governing body.
The Freihofer’s Run for Women offers $27,000 in prize money with the champion being awarded $10,000. A 30-minute Freihofer’s Run for Women TV special will air Saturday, June 5th at 10:30pm on Fox affiliate, WXXA-23.
This year’s race will once again include the USA 10K Open and Junior Race Walk Championships featuring many of the nation’s top race walkers.
To register for the Freihofer’s Run for Women, or for more information about the 22nd Freihofer’s Community Walk, 23rd Freihofer’s Kids’ Run and 8th CapitalCare Health & Fitness Expo, visit: freihofersrun.com