For Immediate Release

19 March 2012

CONTACTS: (Please do not publish these numbers. THE NUMBER FOR PUBLICATION IS THE RACE HOTLINE AT 301-320-3350):

Keith Peters, Media Coordinator
307-690-6803 or

Frank McNally, Media Coordinator
703-801-2566 or


Competitive Field For Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Features Last Year’s Women’s Champion And Men’s Runner-up

If race follows recent form, Kenya’s Allan Kiprono, who placed 2nd in 2011, is in line to win this year’s event.

March 19, 2012, Washington, DC: Race organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run – the Runner’s Rite of Spring® – announced today a number of significant additions to the competitive field for the event’s 40th running on April 1, 2012. The two biggest names are Kenya’s Julliah Tinega, last year’s female champion in 54:02, and Allan Kiprono, last year’s male runner-up in 45:41, who finished just five seconds behind Lelisa Desisa’s course record time.

"I won’t be at all surprised if Allan Kiprono wins the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run this year," said Race Director Phil Stewart. "Both of last year’s champions were runners-up in 2010. And, given the number of repeat winners over the years – 12 – I feel pretty good about Julliah Tinega’s chances as well."

Of course, Kiprono and Tinega will have to prove themselves against a field of worthy competitors. On the men’s side, Kenyan Samuel Ndereba has run Cherry Blossom six times, placing 2nd in 2006, and setting a personal best of 46:38 in 2008; Kenyan Lani Kiplagat placed 4th last year, running 46:30. Tinega’s challengers include Ethiopian Yunilesh Delelecha, who won last year’s George Washington Parkway Classic in Alexandria, Virginia; Claire Hallissey from Great Britain, who was fifth in the women’s race last year and set her ten-mile personal best of 54:47 while placing 8th in 2010; and Ukrainian Keteryna Stetsenko, who has not raced the 10-mile distance before, but recently placed 8th in the Tokyo Marathon, running 2:28:38.

A total of $46,000 in prize money and bonuses will be awarded in 2012 in equal amounts to the top 10 men and top 10 women, with $7,500 going to each champion. In addition, a total of $3,500 in prize money will be awarded to the top three U.S. men and women – if they place among the top 15 finishers.

Justin Young, who was 12th in 2007, is the only elite American male who has run Cherry Blossom in the past. Young will face a highly competitive group of marathoners, all of whom recently competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston: Patrick Rizzo placed 13th in 2:13:42, Ian Burrell was 15th in 2:14:04, Jesse Cherry placed 29th and Carlos Trujillo was 58th.

The American women’s field will include Emily Harrison, who placed 30th in the U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials, Kristin Fryberg-Zaitz, who was 14th in the 2009 Cherry Blossom Run, and 47 year-old Colleen De Reuck, whose winning time of 51:16 from the 1998 Cherry Blossom Run remains the course record.

Of course, with a little over two weeks to go until race day, both the men’s and women’s competitive fields are likely to see some notable additions. The final pre-race press release, which is scheduled to be distributed on March 28th, will provide a complete and final listing of the elite men’s and women’s fields.

Race organizers are taking full advantage of past champions and other notable runners returning for the 40th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, involving as many of them as possible in the pre-race schedule of clinics to be held during the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday, March 30th and Saturday, March 31st. Four-time Cherry Blossom champion Bill Rodgers, American Record holder Greg Meyer (46:13), 1984 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, Cherry Blossom Course Record holder Colleen De Reuck, and the first two-time Cherry Blossom champion (1974, 1975), Carl Hatfield, will each participate in at least one Expo clinic at the National Building Museum. The final schedule of speakers and their topics will also be distributed with the March 28th press release.

This year’s event takes place on the second weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival®, the nation's greatest springtime celebration. The 2012 Festival, March 20 – April 27, includes five spectacular weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. The 2012 Festival commemorates the 100th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan.

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 in 2002, over $5 million dollars has been raised through donations and fundraising on the part of the runners and individual sponsoring Credit Unions and partners. About one-third of these funds 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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