De Reuck joins USA Championship field at Freihofer's 5K
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA Track & Field
Masters world record in jeopardy
ALBANY, N.Y. - (May 12, 2004) - Colleen De Reuck will discover whether the third time is indeed the charm when she competes in the 26th annual Freihofer's Run for Women Saturday, June 5 on the streets of downtown Albany, New York.
De Reuck (Boulder, CO) has twice been a bridesmaid at Freihofer's, which has doubled as the USA Women's 5 km Championship for 14 of the last 16 years. In 2002, in her first appearance in the demanding 3.1-mile road race, she gave eventual winner Marla Runyan a run for her money, and some directional support around the course, before finishing nine seconds behind the sleek-footed Oregonian. Last year she again showed her fighting spirit, before hitting the tape after Runyan in a time of 15:41.
De Reuck, who recently turned 40, is in arguably the best shape of her storied career. On April 3, the veteran marathoner won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in St. Louis with a time of 2:28:25, while also upsetting heavy favorite Deena (Drossin) Kastor. In doing so she not only set a new Trials record (previous record by Margaret Groos, 2:29:50 at Pittsburgh in 1988), but also become the oldest female U.S. marathon champion and Olympic marathon team member.
"We're honored Colleen will be able to take time out of her Olympic training schedule to compete in this year's Freihofer's field," said Event Director George Regan. "The fact that she has qualified for the U.S. Olympic team at the age of 40 is a tremendous accomplishment and sends a clear message to all of us, especially children, that you don't have to sacrifice fitness with age."
Since she recently turned 40, De Reuck will also don the yellow bib reserved exclusively for Freihofer's master's runners (over-40). She has the potential to "double-dip" by picking up a $10,000 winner's check for the Open field, as well as the $750 check awarded to the master's field winner.
Given her superb shape and past results in Albany, De Reuck - who brings a wealth of experience to this year's field, which already includes back-to-back USA champion Marla Runyan and local favorite and 1999 champion Cheri Kenah - could also be on-target to shatter the master's world record (16:07) established by Ruth Wysocki at Freihofer's in 1997.
She is a three-time Olympian for her native South Africa (1992-marathon, 1996-10,000m, 2000-marathon), but became a U.S. citizen in December 2000. In 2004, she has also picked up national titles at the Gate River Run 15K, 49:02 and USA 8K Cross Country Championship.
Notable 2003 results include: 7th 2003 Chicago Marathon, 2:28:01; 1st 2003 Great Cow Harbor 10K, 33:10; 2nd 2003 New Haven 20K, 1:05:53; 3rd 2003 Falmouth Road Race; 3rd 2003 Steamboat Classic 4 Mile, 20:22; 1st 2003 USA Half-Marathon Championship, 1:10:00; 2nd 2003 Lilac Bloomsday 12K, 40:22; 2nd 2003 Spirit of St. Louis Marathon, USA Marathon Championship, 2:37:41; and, 8th 2003 World Cross-Country Championships, long course 26:49. She wrapped up last year by repeating as the USA Running Circuit Grand Prix Champion.
Even though will be intent on adding the 5K national championship to her lustrous resume, she also enjoys coming to Albany to talk to children ages 6-10 about her training routine and life as a professional athlete.
"I really enjoy the experience prior to Saturday's race," she said. "It's always nice to put something back into the sport that has given me so many opportunities."
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 freihofersrun.com. 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 www.usatf.org for USARC standings and more.
Event 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.