Race organizers of the 2016 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the third stop on the 2015-2016 PRRO Circuit, announced that Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi will play a key role in this year's race festivities, even if he chooses not to run competitively on Sunday, April 3. Meb recently placed second in the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles to make his fourth U.S. Olympic Team; his competitive status for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run will depend upon his recovery from the Olympic Trials.
"Running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile has been on my bucket list for several years," said Meb Keflezighi. "Since I am not running a spring marathon this year, the timing is perfect now. I like to use shorter road races as a way to train and tune-up for the major marathons, so the 10 miler will be a great tune-up for the Olympic Marathon."
"We are tremendously pleased to have Meb Keflezighi join us in Washington, DC for the 44th running of the Runner's Rite of Spring," said Phil Stewart, Race Director of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run. "Not only is he one of the most highly decorated American distance runners of all time, his personal story is even more inspiring. From his arrival in America as a refugee from war-torn Eritrea in 1987, to being granted U.S. citizenship in 1998, to becoming the first American to win the New York City Marathon in 27 years in 2009, to his emotionally charged victory at the 2014 Boston Marathon and his recent Olympic Trials performance, at the age of 40, Meb's life resume is legendary."
Stewart added: "Of course, we hope Meb has recovered from the Olympic Marathon Trials and is able to compete and pursue Steve Jones' Masters course record of 48:26, set in 1996, but there are some 15,000 registered runners who probably hope he'll choose to run with them at a more leisurely pace."
Regardless of his race day decision, Capitol Hill staffers entered in Cherry Blossom's Capitol Hill Competition will have the opportunity to meet Meb at the Capitol Visitor's Center on Thursday, March 31 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Later that evening Meb will appear at the Potomac River Running store at 4501 North Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA between 6 - 8:00 p.m. for autographs and photos. He will also make two public appearances at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Health and Fitness Expo at the National Building Museum - Friday, April 1 from 3 - 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 2 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Among the many highlights of Meb's long running career, here are some of his most notable achievements:
2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, 2nd place in 2:12:20 at age 40
2014 Boston Marathon, 1st place in a personal best of 2:08:37
2012 Olympic Marathon, London, 4th place in 2:11:06
2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, 1st place in 2:09:08
2009 New York City Marathon, 1st place in 2:09:15
2004 Olympic Marathon, Athens, 2nd place in 2:11:29
One interesting note: Despite having raced at distances from 1500 meters to the marathon, Meb has never run 10 miles competitively.
Media interested in interviewing Meb during his visit to Washington, DC should contact Keith Peters at 307-690-6803 or email@example.com.
Since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk have raised over $7.5 million for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and a significant portion of that total has been raised by Charity Race entrants.
The 2016 event will mark the 15th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day.
About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile: The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 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 the United States. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, DC's own Children's National Medical Center ("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.
Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk. PSCU is the lead financial partner of Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. Supporting sponsors include Cabot Creamery Cooperative, E-Trade, Gatorade, Gold's Gym, MarathonFoto, MedStar Sports Medicine, Navy Federal Credit Union, New Balance, Potomac River Running and Suburban Solutions Moving Company.
The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (www.PRRO.org), a five-race non-marathon prize money circuit with events in Utica, NY; San Juan, PR; Washington, DC; Spokane, WA; and Pittsburgh, PA. The circuit is committed to a drug-free sport and funds USADA to conduct drug testing at all circuit events. The winning male and female at Cherry Blossom are eligible for the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus if they win the PRRO Championship presented by the Boilermaker Road Race on July 10, 2016; if they place in the top 10 at the PRRO Championship, they will earn the PRRO Event Champion's bonus of $1,500.
In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run recently earned Gold certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for its many environmentally and socially responsible initiatives.
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 104 million Americans do their banking at one of America's 6,300 credit unions. Credit unions are for everyone--no matter where you live, there is a credit union to meet your needs.