For Immediate Release

29 November 2012

CONTACTS: (Please do not publish these numbers.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

Media Contact Information:
(not for publication)

Keith Peters, Media Coordinator
307-690-6803 or kp@kpcomm.biz

Frank McNally, Media Coordinator
703-801-2566 or mcnallyf@si.edu

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and 5K Run-Walk Lottery Opens at 10 A.M. On December 1st

Organizers Unveil All-time Searchable Database and “Social Runners” on Facebook and Twitter

November 29, 2011, Washington, DC: The 40th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and the 5K Run-Walk, known as “the Runner’s Rite of Spring®” in the Nation’s Capital, will take place on Sunday, April 1, 2012 – no fooling. Organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and 5K Run-Walk announced today the lottery procedures that will select the field of participants for one of the longest standing, most respected events on the national running calendar.

According to race officials, entrants will be able to register for the lottery between 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, December 1, 2011 and 11:59 P.M. on Friday, December 9, 2011 (Eastern Standard Time). After the lottery registration period closes, entrants will be electronically selected for the Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk events. The results of the selection process for both events will be posted on the event Web site, http://www.cherryblossom.org on Tuesday, December 13, 2011.

“We first implemented a lottery system for the 2010 event, and found it to be a very fair and straightforward way to deal with the fact that more people want to participate in our races than the streets of Washington DC can accommodate” said Race Director Phil Stewart. Last year, approximately 30,000 runners applied for spots on the starting line. 

Showing the event’s compassionate side, the organizers announced a new policy that will guarantee entries to runners who applied but were not selected to participate via the lottery in 2010 and 2011. Eligible runners have been notified and have until November 30 to register. In addition, “streakers” – individuals who have completed the race 10 or more times – are eligible for guaranteed entries. Finally, compassionate runners who raise $500 or more for the Children’s Miracle Network, the official event charity, can secure a guaranteed spot on the starting line. Details about these special programs appear on the event website.

Also new this year are two distinctly different programs that take full advantage of emerging technologies – the all-time searchable database containing information about every finisher in the race since 1973, and the addition of two “social runners.”

“In the last 39 years, 220,000 runners have participated in the runner’s rite of spring,” said Deputy Race Director Becky Lambros. “We are excited to be able to give every one of them the opportunity to go into the searchable database and relive the past.”

“At the same time, we’re very much looking to the future,” Lambros added. “We’ve recruited two ‘social runners’ to help us take full advantage of Facebook and Twitter. They’ve specifically been asked to share their pre-race training experiences on Facebook and Twitter; one will be participating in Potomac River Running’s in-person training program, while the other will follow the New Balance virtual training program, led by Kirt West. You can follow them on Twitter @mocarbe and @lprangley; their respective Facebook pages can be found by searching for Molly Barackman-Eder and Laura Prangley.”

Once again the staging area will be located on the Washington Monument Grounds and the course will trace its traditional route past Washington’s storied cherry blossom trees. The Health and Fitness Expo will take place over two days, Friday March 30 and Saturday, March 31, at the historic National Building Museum. The race headquarters hotel is located at the Westin Washington DC City Center Hotel, 1400 M St., NW, Washington, DC.

The event, which serves as the only world-class road race in the Nation’s Capital, will offer $46,000 in prize money and time incentives to elite athletes from around the world. The top male and female athletes will earn checks for $7,500 each.

This year’s event takes place on the second weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival®, a five-week celebration of sporting and cultural events that commemorates the blossoming of the fabled trees donated to this country by Japan in the early 20th century.

Runners looking for more information about the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, specifics on the lottery system and to register for the lottery should visit the event website, http://www.cherryblossom.org

About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 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 will offer $46,000 in prize money and time incentives to elite athletes from around the world. The event also 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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