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Bawcom Sets American Record To Win USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship

Dramatically Close Finishes Define both Men’s and Women’s Races at 41st Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

April 7, 2013, Washington, DC: U.S. Olympian Janet Bawcom ran 10 miles in 53:28 this morning to set the single-sex American record at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. In doing so, Bawcom from Flagstaff, AZ, claimed her third consecutive USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship, and led three other American women under the former record time of 54:38, set by the late Sally Meyerhoff in the 2009 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.  (Bawcom was the RRCA’s 2011 Road Runner of the Year.)

But Bawcom’s record run was certainly not the only story among elite competitors. The finish of the men’s race was initially too close to call; judges ultimately awarded the victory to Kenyan Daniel Salel over countryman and defending champion Allan Kiprono. Salel’s winning time was 46:06, well off the course record of 45:15 Kiprono set last year. And in the women’s race, Kenyan Caroline Rotich and Ethiopian Belaynesh Oljira broke away from a large group of women over the last three miles of the race, with Rotich prevailing for a three second victory in 52:46. Bawcom ended up fourth overall in the women’s race, just behind Kenyan Risper Gesawba, who ran 53:22.

In her post-race comments, Janet Bawcom credited the highly competitive international field of women for helping her break the American record, and said “this victory gives me a lot of confidence going into to the track season.” (Bawcom placed 12th in the 10,000 meters, in a time of 31:12.68, in the London Olympic Games.)

While Bawcom can now look ahead with confidence, Caroline Rotich drew upon the confidence gained from her recent win at the NYC Half Marathon as today’s race unfolded: “With three miles to go, I didn’t want the race to come down to a sprint with Belaynesh Oljira, who is a 10K runner, so I kept pushing and pushing, knowing I had a lot of strength in my legs.”

From a total pool of $65,000 in prize money and bonuses, Daniel Salel and Caroline Rotich each won $8,000, while Janet Bawcom won a total of $9,000 ($1,500 for her fourth place finish overall, $5,000 for the USA Championship, and $2,500 for setting the American record). Three other American women placed among the top-ten overall to “double-dip” in prize money: Brianne Nelson (Boulder, CO) placed 8th /2nd U.S. and earned $3,300 total; Sarah Crouch (Blowing Rock, NC) placed 9th /3rd U.S. and earned $2,600; and Kellyn Johnson (Flagstaff, AZ) placed 10th /4th U.S. and won a total of $2,000.

Three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, CA) took home $1,000 for her 5th place among American women; Katie DeCamillo (Providence, RI) earned $800 as 6th place American; Heather Cappello (Boston, MA) was 7th and earned $600; Ladia Albertson Junkans (St. Paul, MN) earned $500 for 8th place; Stephanie Pezzullo (Charlotte, NC) placed 9th and earned $300; and Clara Grandt (Morgantown, WV) earned $200 as 10th American woman.

Top-placing American men were also able to take home both overall and top American prize money, though the American prize money was limited to just the top-three: Tyler McCandless (Boulder, CO) placed 8th and won a total of $1,700, Patrick Rizzo (Boulder, CO) placed 9th and earned $1,100; and Chris Kwiatkowski (Chevy Chase, MD) placed 10th and earned $750.

On the fundraising front, a total of $483,000 was raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals this year, with $115,000 of that raised directly by Credit Union Cherry Blossom runners. Since the Credit Unions became the title sponsor of the race in 2002, over $6 million has been has been raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

This year’s event – the Runner’s Rite of Spring® – took place on the third weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival®, the nation’s greatest springtime celebration. The 2013 Festival, March 20 – April 14, commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries.

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run is a proud member of the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) Circuit, and is the only truly elite road race held in the Nation’s Capital. PRRO is an alliance of race directors who together organize and the PROO Circuit, a nationwide series of premier non-marathon road racing events. Circuit events include the World’s Best 10K in San Juan, PR, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, the Lilac Bloomsday 12K in Spokane, WA, the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY, and the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA. A trip to the PRRO Race of Champions at the 2013 AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4, 2013 will be awarded to the first local man and woman.

About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®.” 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. Since the Credit Unions became the title sponsor of the race in 2002, over $5.5 million dollars has been donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 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.

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