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1999 USA 5 km champion Cheri Kenah returns to Freihofer's


Ryan Lamppa
Media Correspondent
USA Track & Field
(805) 696-6232

ALBANY - (May 4, 2004) - Cheri Kenah, whose victorious race to the tape in 1999 against Libbie Hickman remains one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the Freihofer's Run for Women, today announced she will compete in the event's 26th edition slated for Saturday, June 5 at 10:15 a.m. in downtown Albany, New York.

Kenah (Reston, VA), 33, will compete in an open field that already includes back-to-back USA Women's 5 km champion Marla Runyan.

A perennial crowd favorite in Albany, Kenah finished 8th in her last appearance at Freihofer's in 2002 in a time of 16:10. She skipped last year's event because she was pregnant, and then gave birth on November 11 to twins Alexa Grace and Eamonn Richard. She has recently returned to competitive running.

"Freihofer's will be my first race since pregnancy. This event has always been special to me because it is so close to where I grew up," said Kenah, who graduated from Saratoga High School in 1989 and went on to enjoy a stellar racing career at Villanova University. "Despite the fact that I won't be fit enough to win, I thought this would be a great place to re-start my career."

"It's always a great addition to any field to have an athlete of the stature of Cheri Kenah," said Freihofer's Event Director George Regan, noting how she has been among the most consistent American distance runners, dating back to her high school days. "The fact that she's a product of a local high school and a former champion vying to win another 5 km crown only makes her decision to return to Albany that much more exciting."

Kenah first competed at Freihofer's in 1997, placing third. In 1998, she moved up to second following an enthralling home-stretch battle with eight-time FRW champ Lynn Jennings and Libbie Hickman. Then, one year later, after an equally epic tussle with Hickman, Cheri moved up to the victor's rostrum. Her win in Albany, which has hosted 24 USA Women's Championships since 1979 (including this year), capped off an extraordinary year for Kenah, who finished the 1999 season ranked 1st in the U.S. at 5000m (15:13.42) and 2nd at 3000m (8:42.68).

Kenah, who comes from an athletic family and is married to Rich Kenah, bronze medalist in the 800m at the 1997 World Championships, has a long list of accomplishments that include: five-time U.S. Indoor 3000m runner-up; 1999 U.S. Outdoor 5000m runner-up and second at 1998 USA Indoor mile.

She has been ranked in the top five in the U.S. in one or more events since 1995 by Track & Field News. Her fastest time for 5000 meters is 15:10.50, while her best time for 3000 meters is 8:42.68. Her fastest 10,000m time is 32:21.

To register for the 2004 Freihofer's Run for Women, a founding member of Running USA, pick up a registration form at any Price Chopper Supermarket, or go to: As a national championship, Freihofer's also is part of the 2004 Women's USA Running Circuit, a USA Track & Field road series. The 2004 USARC offers a record of $818,700 in guaranteed prize money with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000 and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. At each national road championship, the top 10 U.S. runners earn USARC points. Visit for USARC standings and more.

Run for Women sponsors include the Charles Freihofer Baking Company (A Division of George Weston Bakeries Inc.), Price Chopper Supermarkets, B95.5 fm, NewsChannel 13 and the Albany Quality Inn.

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