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Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk Announces Details of Events

20 Aug, 2021


With COVID-19 restrictions on the wane, the organizers of the 48th edition of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk will be opening the entry process for the September 12 event in two phases.

Individuals who deferred from the cancelled 2020 events will receive Guaranteed Entry Links (GELs), which will allow them to enter the race starting at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26 through 11:59 p.m. on June 30. These runners will also have the option of postponing their entry until the 2022 edition of the race scheduled for April 3, which will celebrate the 49th running of the Runner’s Rite of Spring®.

The annual lottery for race entries will be held on the event website www.CherryBlossom.org and will be open from 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1 through 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2021. The 2021 entry fees are $50 for the Ten Mile and $40 for the 5K Run-Walk.

Although the considerably brighter picture for large running events outlined in the most recent Center for Disease Control and District of Columbia Government announcements is positive, officials will not set the overall field size until early July, after the GEL and lottery period closes. This will allow for a later projection of what, if any, COVID-19 limitations might be in effect on September 12. Should social distancing be required and gathering size limits be in effect, the field size will be appropriately reduced. While the organizers are increasingly optimistic that all of the event activities, including the Health and Fitness Expo, the Kids Run and the two Sunday races will take place at full capacity, they will continue to develop contingency plans for a modified event, including the possibility of fewer participants.

“Runners have been looking forward to the return to in-person events for more than a year,” said Event Director Phil Stewart, “and we are happy to offer this one-time special edition of The Runner’s Delight of Fall to help meet that demand.We are telling runners that ‘green is the new pink,’ as the April blossoms will be replaced by the greens of maturing late summer cherry tree leaves as the city eases into fall. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated in order to keep the positive reopening trend going over the next several months.”

While the annual Runner’s Rite of Spring and the event’s namesake cherry blossoms will return to Washington, DC next April, the race committee has been eagerly anticipating and preparing for a triumphant return to in-person racing on September 12. Of course, everything is dependent on the continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

All individuals who entered the lottery for the 2020 race – whether accepted or not – will receive an email reminder directly from event organizers shortly before the opening of the lottery. Others are encouraged to visit the event’s website on or before June 1 for complete details.

The status of all lottery registrants – whether accepted or not – and entry confirmation of all the 2020 deferred registrants who signed up for the September 12 race will be posted on the event website by Wednesday, July 7. Due to the large number of individuals who deferred their entries from 2020, it is expected that a smaller number than usual will be selected through the lottery.

Runners can bypass the entry lottery by registering to become a Charity Race Entry Participant; Charity Race Entry Participants receive a guaranteed entry code that serves as a lottery exemption by raising a minimum of $500 for the official race charity Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. More information about the opportunity to become a Charity Race Entry Participant is available here.

Held virtually this year and last, the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Runs mark the 20th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, over $10 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $439,000 in 2020. Of that $439,000, $66,000 came from runners donating their entry fees instead of asking for a refund when race weekend in our Nation’s Capital was wiped out by COVID-19.  

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 the Road Runners Club of America’s “Roads Scholar” program 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 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. Additional sponsorship comes from ASICS, Garmin Gatorade, Medstar and Potomac River Running.

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 and follow the event on social media @CUCB and #CUCB2021. 

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.

Credit unions are financial cooperatives that 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 a credit union.

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