Growing up, Michelle (Lilienthal) Frey was a seven-time state champion for Iowa City High School before earning All-Big Ten honors at the University of Wisconsin. Upon graduating in 2005, Frey felt burnt out on competitive running, so when she moved to Philadelphia for graduate school she shifted to running just for fun. Lo and behold, Frey began running better than ever and turned her attention to the Philadelphia Marathon, in which she made her debut at distance in 2005 in 2:49:22. The following spring, she was the 16th woman overall in the Boston Marathon, her 2:40:23 good enough to make her the second American. With her third-place finish in 2:35:51 in the Twin Cities Marathon in the fall of 2006, she had chopped more than 13 minutes off of her personal best in less than a year. The future looked limitless, and Frey was frequently touted as a likely top-10 finisher in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and even a dark horse to make the team. Then, plantar fasciitis grabbed hold and wouldn't let go, followed by hamstring injuries. Frey fought through some tough years while competing for Team USA Minnesota before a "rebirth" last fall, which led to a resurgent 2:37:03 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in January. Frey, who works 20 hours a week managing a chiropractic clinic in Minneapolis, married Jacob Frey, a former top distance runner. She will turn 30 years old on April 15, the day she plans to compete in the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon in New York City's Central Park.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg