Collaboration with Road Runners Club of America offers up-and-coming American distance runners an additional $6,000 prize purse.
March 6, 2019, Washington, DC: Building upon a long tradition of cooperation and mutual support between the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA)—America’s oldest and largest grass roots organization of running clubs—race organizers announced today a special $6,000 prize purse for RRCA Roads Scholars and RRCA Run Pro Camp alumni. Race organizers and the RRCA will jointly award $1,500, $1,000 and $500 to the top-three men and women alumni of the two innovative RRCA programs designed specifically to support up-and-coming American distance runners. The 47th running of “The Runner’s Rite of Spring” will take place in our nation’s capital on April 7, 2019.
"The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run and the RRCA have both been advocates of providing opportunities for recently-graduated, young runners looking to find opportunities as professional runners. The RRCA does this through the Roads Scholar program and the RunPro Camp, while the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run does it through a substantial American purse as well as significant support to the Roads Scholar program,” said Event Director Phil Stewart. “Having a dedicated purse for the Roads Scholar RunPro Alumni Challenge is a great way to combine these two initiatives."
“In 2018, the RRCA provided $2,400 in prize money for its first ever Roads Scholar RunPro Alumni Challenge, which occurred at last year’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile,” explained Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director. “We are thrilled to again partner with the race and to grow the prize money to $6,000 to further support the talented athletes that have benefited from both the RRCA Roads Scholar and RunPro Camp programs. We look forward to some serious head-to-head competition between the athletes eligible to earn this special prize money.”
Since 1996, the RRCA has awarded 128 grants totaling $600,000 through its Roads Scholar program to assist American post-collegiate road runners who show great promise to develop into national and world class road running athletes. Over the past 20 years, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has contributed over $210,000 to the Roads Scholar grant program, making it the program's largest single contributor.
To date, the following RRCA Roads Scholar grant recipients have committed to race in the 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile: 2018 recipients Reed Fischer, Grayson Murphy, Samantha Bluske-Palmer and Erin Clark; Emma Bates, Johnny Crain, Tyler Jermann and Matt McClintock, all 2017 grant recipients; Martin Hehir, who was awarded a Roads Scholar grant in 2016 and placed third in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile that same year; Katy (Moen) Jermann, who was awarded a grant in 2015; 2011 Roads Scholar Meghan Armstrong-Peyton; and 1997 Roads Scholar grant recipient Deena Kastor, who certainly fulfilled the RRCA’s goal of assisting American post-collegiate road runners who show great promise to develop into national and world-class road racers—she won the 2004 Olympic Marathon Bronze Medal in Athens.
Four of the above named RRCA Roads Scholars competed in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile last year: Matt McClintock was ninth overall in a time of 47:10; Johnny Crain was 21st in 49:16; Tyler Jermann placed 24th with a time of 49:50; and Katy (Moen) Jermann placed 12th among the women with a time of 56:04.
RunPro is another RRCA-funded program that Credit Union Cherry Blossom organizers are pleased to support. Event Director Phil Stewart and Elite Athlete Coordinator Bill Orr are regular presenters at the RunPro Camp weekend in July of each year. Intended to assist newly-graduated, post-collegiate runners seeking to make the transition to professional running, RunPro Camp provides attendees with the information, knowledge, and networking resources necessary to pursue a professional running career.
2018 RunPro Camper Karis Jochen has committed to race in the 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, as have 2017 RunPro Campers Futsum Zeinasellassie and Kelsey Bruce, 2016 alumni Abbabiya Simbassa and Willie Milam, and 2014 alum Danny Docherty. Two Roads Scholar grant recipients mentioned above—Johnny Crain and Katy Moen—are also RunPro Camp alumni (2015).
2016 RunPro Camp alum Abbabiya Simbassa placed 8th in last year’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and won the RRCA’s Roads Scholars RunPro purse with a time of 47:04, while 2014 alum Danny Docherty ran in the 2017 edition of the race and placed 21st with a time of 49:54.
Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Elite Athlete Coordinator Bill Orr encourages all past RRCA Roads Scholars and RunPro Camp alumni to contact him directly to inquire about entry into this year’s 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.
Since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk have raised nearly $9 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, with $380,000 of that total being raised this past year. The 2018 event marked the 17th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day.
Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers in partnership with CUNA Mutual Group and PSCU, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, 5K Run-Walk and Kids’ Run. Other sponsors include Garmin, the presenting technology sponsor; and supporting sponsors E-Trade, Gatorade, Gold’s Gym, Honey Stinger, Mamma Lucia, MedStar Sports Medicine, Potomac River Running, Under Armour and UPS.
The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (PRRO.org), a series of 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 #CUCB2019.