Annie Frisbie at New York City Marathon

River Falls native Annie Frisbie, second from left, runs through the streets of Brooklyn with the lead pack that includes Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, far left, and Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel of the United States, far right, at the 50th running of the New York City Marathon Sunday, Nov. 7. Photo courtesy of Shari Frisbie

Halfway through the women’s race at the New York City Marathon Nov. 7, a lot of people were probably wondering: Who is that girl in the lead?

It was none other than 2015 River Falls High School graduate Annie Frisbie.

Frisbie, in her marathon debut, led the race near the 12-mile mark, ahead of a field that included Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya and Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel of the United States, among others.

Jepchirchir ended up winning with a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, 39 seconds, and Seidel went on to set an American course record to place fourth in 2:24:42, while the 24 year-old Frisbie was the third American finisher, and seventh overall, in 2:26:18 – the fastest marathon time ever for an American woman under the age of 25.

Not bad for somebody most people had never heard of.

While Frisbie wasn’t well known on the national or international stage before her marathon debut, people in River Falls remember her as one of the best distance runners ever to come out of River Falls High School.

In 2014 she became the only girl from River Falls ever to win a WIAA state cross country title, and she holds nearly every school distance record – including the 1600 and 3200 meter runs in track and field as well as the 5,000 meter cross country mark.

As a senior in 2014, she took fourth at the Nike Heartland XC Midwest Regional and was the top Wisconsin finisher at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional while placing seventh.

She went on to Iowa State University, where she was a three-time All-Big 12 cross country runner while earning All-American honors as a senior in 2018.

She turned pro in September 2019, joining Minnesota Distance Elite, and in July finished third at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.

In September, she was fifth at the U.S. 10-mile championships in Washington, D.C., before stealing the spotlight in her marathon debut on the streets of New York. She said even if she ran a bad race, it was an experience she’ll never forget.

“I think just being in New York, with the crowds and just the experience itself, they really do treat you so special and it just feels like you're a part of something bigger than yourself,” she said. “It's just a crazy environment to be a part of. And then on top of that to race so well – it's kind of just the cherry on top. You’re just overfilled with joy once you cross that finish line.”

Frisbie’s performance at the New York City Marathon has elicited a host of offers from sponsors and agents, but for now she said she’s happy working as a graphic designer from her home in Minneapolis while weighing her options.

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