Looking ahead to the 44th running of the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 3, 2016, in Washington, DC, event organizers are offering a $10,000 American record bonus for the first American man or woman to break Greg Meyer's American record of 46:13, set here in 1983, and Janet Bawcom's single-sex American record of 52:12, set here in 2014; the $10,000 bonus will be split if two new American records are set at the 2016 Runners Rite of Spring. As in years past, there will be an advance start for the elite women, providing them an opportunity to compete for records that will be recognized as coming from a women's-only race.
Event director Phil Stewart said, "With so many Americans being in top condition after the Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles last month, and ready to unwind after being so focused on that event for the past year, we wanted to do something special for the Americans this year."
In addition to the American Record bonus, Cherry Blossom organizers will offer a $25,000 American purse. If an American man were to win the race outright and break the American record with a sub-46:00 time, he could earn as much as $24,000. The last American man to win the race was Chris Fox in 1990, though Jacob Riley was only eight seconds short of victory last year. If an American woman were to win the race and break the American record with a sub 52:00 time, she could also take home $24,000. The last American woman to win the race was Joan Nesbit in 1996. (Colleen De Reuck was competing for South Africa when she set the mixed gender record of 51:16 in 1998.)
The American record bonus and purse are part of the total open prize purse of $80,500 that includes equal payments to the top ten men and women finishers of all nationalities, totaling $40,000, with time bonuses of $1,000 and $750 available to the first two men and women to break 46 minutes and 52 minutes, respectively. The generous amount of open prize money should ensure a talented cast of international athletes as well.
Over 27,000 runners submitted applications to participate in the 2016 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk, and the list of accepted runners represents all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. The event is limited to 15,000 finishers by the National Park Service.
Since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk have raised over $7 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. To find a credit union near you visit: www.asmarterchoice.org or www.culookup.com.