Organizers Anticipate Incentive Will Produce 20th World or American Record at Event
January 23, 2020, Washington, DC: The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee is excited to announce new World Record bonuses being offered at this year’s race, scheduled for Sunday, April 5. These new bonuses are in addition to the $10,000 bonuses that have been offered to the first U.S. male and female breaking the American Record for the last three years.
Since the race started in 1973, the annual Runner’s Rite of Spring ® has been the site of 10 world and nine American records. The first World Record was set in 1986 when Portugal’s Rosa Mota ran 53:09, and the most recent was in 2007 when Ethiopia’s Teyba Erkesso set the Single-sex Women’s World Record with a time of 51:44 (which still stands). The first American Record set at the event was in 1976 by Julie Shea in 57:04, and the most recent by Janet Bawcom with a Single-sex Women’s American Record of 52:12 in 2014.
Event Director Phil Stewart said, “As the 19 world and American records show, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile has long been the venue for extraordinary international and American stars to showcase their talents on the streets of the Nation’s Capital. We hope that offering the new World Record bonuses will set the stage for our 20th World or American record performance as the event closes in on its gala 50th running in 2022. Our organizing committee has always taken great pride in staging a world-class sporting event for these elite athletes alongside a beloved spring tradition for 16,000 participants taking up to three times as long to cover the same distance.”
The addition of the bonuses brings the total amount of prize money and bonuses up for grabs in 2020 to $116,500. A complete breakdown of that $116,500 includes the aforementioned $20,000 should both men’s and women’s World Records be broken (see times below); $10,000 for the first American man to break Greg Meyer’s American Record of 46:13, set here in 1983; $10,000 for the first American woman to break Bawcom’s American Record of 52:12, set here in 2014; $40,000 in open prize money, plus a possible $3,500 in time bonuses, paid equally to the top-ten men and women; and $25,000 in American prize money, again paid equally to the top-ten American men and women. In addition, race organizers have collaborated with the Road Runners Club of America to offer a total of $6,000 to the top-three American men and women who qualify as past recipients of RRCA Road Scholar Grants, or are RRCA RunPro Camp alumni. Finally, the Washington Metropolitan Area Team Championship Division offers $1,000 to the first place men’s and women’s teams consisting of talented, open-division DC-area Running Club Store or Running Club teams.
Because World Athletics (the new name for the IAAF, the world governing body for road running) does not keep official world records for ten miles, the time standards race organizers will use for bonus consideration are those world records maintained by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians (www.arrs.run), a global statistical record keeper that has tracked world road running records since the 1970s. The current Men’s ARRS World Record is 44:23 run by Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), at the Brabant Dagblad Ten Mile in Tilburg, NED on September 4, 2005; and the current ARRS Single-sex Women’s Record is 51:44 run by Teyba Erkesso (ETH) here on April 1, 2007. (“Single-sex” records are set in all-women’s events in which the women do not receive any pacing assistance from men, as they potentially do in “mixed” races where men and women start at the same time. With the women starting 12 minutes before the men, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 mile qualifies as a “single-sex” event.)
Over 26,000 runners submitted applications last fall to participate in the 2020 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk, and the list of accepted runners represents all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands along with 19 foreign countries. The event is limited to 16,000 finishers by the National Park Service.
Registration is still open for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Half-Mile Kids’ Run at www.cherryblossom.org. The Kids‘ Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2020, the day before the Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk, and will start and finish at the National Building Museum, site of the event’s Health and Fitness Expo in conjunction with packet pick-up. Registration for the non-competitive, fun run for kids ages 4 – 10 will be limited to the first 500 to register. The entry fee is $10.00, which includes a t-shirt featuring the work of our winning Kids’ Run T-shirt design artist under the age of 13, and a finisher’s medal
The 2020 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run marks the 19th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, over $9.5 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $400,000 from the 2019 race.
About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile:
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, organized by Cherry Blossom, Inc., a 501c(3) chapter of the Road Runners Club of America, is known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®” in the Nation’s Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier children’s hospitals across North America. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, DC’s own Children’s National (“Children’s Hospital”). The event also funds two $5,000 Road Runners Club of America “Roads Scholar” grants designed to support up-and-coming U.S. distance running talent.
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run is also part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, “America’s Greatest Springtime Celebration.”
Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers in partnership with CUNA Mutual Group, PCSU and CO-OP Financial Services, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, 5K Run-Walk and Kids’ Run. Presenting sponsors include ASICS, the official shoe and apparel sponsor; Garmin, the presenting technology sponsor; Gold’s Gym, presenting sponsor of the race pace groups; and Med Star Health, presenting sponsor of the Fall Kickoff Reception. Supporting sponsors include E-Trade, Gatorade, Honey Stinger, Mamma Lucia, Potomac River Running, Suburban Solutions and UPS.
The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (PRRO.org), a series of major non-marathon prize money road races in Tampa, FL; Washington, DC; Spokane, WA; and Utica, NY. The circuit is committed to a drug-free sport and funds drug testing at all circuit events in compliance with the standards of international and U.S. drug testing authorities.
In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has earned Gold Level Inspire Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport in recognition of its legacy of commitment to sustainability and thoughtful resource management. To learn more, visit www.cherryblossom.org follow the event on social media @CUCB and #CUCB2020.
About Credit Union Miracle Day
Credit Union Miracle Day is a partnership of over 100 credit unions, CUSOs and partner organizations united to sponsor the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run promoting awareness of the credit union difference and benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide.
About America’s Credit Unions:
Credit unions provide consumers choices for financial services such as checking accounts, investments and loans of all kinds including mortgages. Funds are federally insured, but unlike banks, there are no stockholders at credit unions. Earnings are returned to member-owners in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, low or no-fee products and services. The credit union philosophy of placing members’ needs first is why more than 115 million Americans do their banking at one of America’s 5,500 credit unions. Credit unions are for everyone – no matter where you live, there is a credit union to meet your needs.