Deep Field of American Women Contesting USA Women's Ten Mile Championship, Presented by America's Credit Unions, Adds a New Element to the Competitive Storyline of the only Truly Elite Road Race to Be Held in the Nation's Capital.
April 3, 2013, Washington, DC: Organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run -- the Runner's Rite of Spring® -- announced today the final lineup of elite runners for the event's 41st running on April 7, 2013.
Last year's champion and course record holder, Kenya's Allan Kiprono returns to defend his title against a deep men's field. Kiprono's record setting time of 45:15 broke the previous course record by 24 seconds, and his 1:13 margin of victory over fellow Kenyan Lani Kiplagat was the largest in at least 13 years at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run. Kiprono's time was the fastest 10 mile time run on a record quality course in 2012, and ranks 7th fastest all-time on a record quality course.
Lani Kiplagat will return to challenge Kiprono this year, and will be joined by fellow Kenyans Philip Langat, 19, who has run 45:47 for 10 miles; Shadrack Kosgei, who recently won the Miami Beach Half Marathon; Geoffrey Kenesi, who mounted the podium at a number of road races in France last year; Stephen Muange, who was 5th here in 2010 in a time of 46:34; Macdonard Ondara, who placed 5th in 2011in a time of 46:52; Daniel Salel, who was 2nd in the recent Paris Half Marathon; and Stephen Sambu, winner of the recent Carlsbad Half Marathon. Ethiopian Tesfaye Bekele returns to try and improve upon his 12th place finish in 2010, and will be joined by countryman Mulugeta Wendimu, who was an Olympic Finalist in Athens in the 1500 meter run. Patrick Rizzo, who ran 49:14 to place 8th last year, heads the list of American men who will be competing for an additional $1,750 in prize money to be awarded to the top three U.S. men. (More detail on the men's field available at CherryBlossom.org.)
Three other American men -- all with ties to the Boston marathon -- deserve mention, even though they won't be competing for top honors. Four-time Boston and New York Marathon, and four-time Cherry Blossom winner (1978-1981) Bill Rodgers will compete for the 22nd time. Local runner Ben Beach, who has run all 40 editions of the race, is on track to notch Cherry Blossom finish number 41. Beach plans to follow that up by running his 46th consecutive Boston Marathon -- an all-time record -- on April 15. Dick Beardsley, second in Boston in 1982, in an epic duel with Alberto Salazar, will be running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run for the first time.
Among the women, Kenya's Lineth Chepkurui earns the top-seed based on her 2010 victory here in 51:51, along with wins in 2009 and 2008. Should she win again this year, she would join Bill Rodgers as the only four-time winner of the event. Chepkurui won a total of seven U.S. road races in 2010, and is off to a great start in 2013 with a 2nd place finish at the World's Best 10K in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Chepkurui will be challenged by Ethiopian Belainesh Gebre, who placed 3rd here in 2010 in a time of 53:22. Kenyan Caroline Rotich, has a 10-mile personal best of 53:43, and is the recent winner of the NYC Half Marathon. A number of other past Cherry Blossom competitors round out the international women's field, including Kenya's Risper Gesabwa, 2nd in 2011 in 54:03; Ethiopia's Tigist Tufa, 3rd in 2011 in 54:13, and Yunilesh Delelecha, 3rd in 2012 in 54:33; Morocco's Malika Medjoub, 2nd in 2012 in 54:24; and Great Britain's 2012 Olympic Marathoner Claire Hallisey, who placed 5th last year in 54:37. Also worth noting is Kenyan Alice Kimutai's recent victory at the Crescent City Classic 10K in New Orleans in a time of 31:51. (More detail on the women's field available at CherryBlossom.org.)
As announced previously, three U.S. Olympians, Janet Bawcom, Jen Rhines and Colleen DeReuck will be competing in the USA Women's 10 Mile Championships, presented by America's Credit Unions, which is being held in conjunction with the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. Bawcom, a two-time defending USA Women's 10 Mile Champion, with a personal best of 53:43, was a finalist in the 10,000 meters in last summer's London Games. DeReuck, a four-time Olympian, set the still-standing Cherry Blossom mixed gender course record of 51:16 in 1998. Rhines represented the U.S. in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and marathon in the Beijing, Sydney and Athens Olympics respectively.
Other American women in the field include: Renee Metevier-Baillie, 2nd in the 2010 USA Women's 10 Mile Championship; Brianne Nelson, who has a 10K personal best of 33:07; Katie DeCamillo, 5th in the 2012 USA Women's 10 Mile Championship in 54:35; Ladia Albertson Junkans, 8th in the 2012 USA Women's 10 Mile Championship in 55:44; Sarah Crouch, 5th in the 2011 USA Women's 10 Mile Championship; Alvina Begay, recent winner of the Mountain to Fountain 15K in Phoenix, AZ; Clara Grandt, 7th in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials; Kellyn Johnson, 10th in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials; and Stephanie Pezzullo, 6th in last year's Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. (More detail on the American women's field available at CherryBlossom.org.)
This year's Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run features $65,000 in prize money and bonuses -- the largest prize purse in the event's history. The prize structure includes bonuses of $1,000 for the first man to run sub-46 minutes, $1,000 for the first woman to run sub-52 minutes, and $2,500 for the first U.S. woman to break the single-sex American Record of 54:38, which was set by the late Sally Meyerhoff in the 2009 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. A total of $50,000 in prize money and bonuses will be awarded in equal amounts to the top 10 men and top 10 women, with an additional $14,400 to be awarded to the top 10 American Women; a total of $1,750 will be awarded to the top three U.S. men who finish among the top 15 overall finishers.
As usual, race organizers are taking full advantage of past champions and other notable runners in the pre-race schedule of clinics to be held during the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th at the National Building Museum. Dick Beardsley will speak at 2 pm on Friday, followed by Jen Rhines at 3 pm. Matt McCue, author of An Honorable Run, will speak at 4 pm, followed by Colleen DeReuck and her husband and coach Darren DeReuck, who will speak at 5 pm. Former 10,000 meter world record holder Arturo Barrios will close the day with a talk at 6 pm. Janet Bawcom will be signing autographs at the Credit Union booth from 2:00-2:50 pm, and Dick Beardsley will sign from 3:00-4:30 pm on Friday.
On Saturday, Matt McCue will return to speak at 10 am, followed by orthopedic physician and running specialist Dan Pereles. Jen Rhines will speak at noon, Dick Beardsley will speak at 1 pm, Bill Rodgers will speak at 2 pm, Janet Bawcom will speak at 3 pm, and Arturo Barrios will once again close the day with a talk at 4 pm. In addition, Bill Rodgers will be signing autographs at the Credit Union booth in the expo from 3-4:30 pm.
More than 70 students and mentors from the Teens Run DC program will be participating in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and 5K events this year. These students, representing six schools in the District, have set these races as their goal since they began training early in the fall. Teens Run DC was founded three years ago to use long distance running as a tool to help students learn to set and achieve goals in running and in life. For these young participants, many of whom live in underserved communities in challenging circumstances, simply earning their race number was an achievement of which they could be proud, and now they all look forward to crossing the race finish line. Look for the Teens Run DC booth at the Health and Fitness Expo at the National Building Museum on Friday and Saturday and at the race where they will have a major presence.
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run is a proud member of the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) Circuit. 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.
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 Gatorade, Navy Federal Credit Union, New Balance, Potomac River Running and Gold's Gym.
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'TM needs first is why more than 95 million Americans do their banking at one of America'sTM 7,000 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: ASmarterChoice.org or CULookup.com.