23 APR 2009 General News Albany, New York, USA

Johnson seeks fourth consecutive victory in New York’s Freihofer's 5km

Benita Johnson wins the 2008 Freihofer's Run for Women (Jeff Foley - www.JeffFoley.com)Benita Johnson wins the 2008 Freihofer's Run for Women (Jeff Foley - www.JeffFoley.com) © Copyright

Australia's Benita Johnson will attempt to become only the second woman in the history of the Freihofer's Run for Women to win four consecutive titles when the 31st edition of the 5km takes place on Saturday, 30 May.

The Freihofer's Run for Women is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
 
Johnson, a three-time Olympian and the 2004 World Cross County champion, will try to emulate American Lynn Jennings' four victories (1993-1996) on the scenic course that weaves through New York's historic capital city. 
 
"We're thrilled to have Benita back in Albany," said Event Director George Regan. "If she claims her fourth title here, she will hold the second greatest number of victories behind Lynn Jennings, who won eight titles (six in the 5 km race and two in 10 km edition) between 1987 and 1998."
 
"This race holds a truly special place in my heart," added Johnson, who hit the tape in last year's race in a time of 15:46.  "Each year I experience a huge rush of excitement and adrenalin.  First when I step into the classrooms around the community to talk to the kids and then second when I stand on that start line looking up the big hill ready for a tough race ahead against the world's best athletes."
 
As the weeks count down to the starting gun, organizers are busy building another stellar elite field for the event, which last year joined the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon and Chicago Marathon as the only road races in the United States to be awarded label status by the IAAF. 

The only 5 km road race in the U.S. to hold the "silver" label designation, the Freihofer's Run for Women offers $27,000 in prize money with the winner being awarded $10,000. 

This year's 31st edition will also include the USA10K Open and Junior Race Walk Championships featuring some of the nation's top race walkers.

Edward Parham for the IAAF