For Immediate Release

14 April 2015

Media Contact Information:
(not for publication)

Keith Peters, Media Coordinator
307-690-6803 or


Stephen Sambu Wins 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, With American Jacob Riley A Surprising Second; Mary Wacera Victorious in the Women's Race

After Having to Shorten the Course Due to a Pre-race Accident, Race Organizers Include Projected 10-mile Times in Race Results Reporting

April 14, 2015, Washington, DC: On an ideal day for running the Runner's Rite of Spring, with the cherry blossoms peaking for the race for the first time since 2007, the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run turned out to be not quite 10 miles. Race organizers were forced to re-route the course between miles four and six due to an accident on the course that occurred about an hour prior to the 7:18 a.m. start of the elite women's race. The exact distance was measured as 9.39 miles after the race - making it just a fraction over 15K. When final race results are posted online, they will include both the actual time run and a projection of runners' times for 10 miles for all runners.

Defending champion Stephen Sambu successfully defended his title, while fellow Kenyan Mary Wacera prevailed in the women's race. Sambu's time of 43:20 for 9.39 miles projects to 46:10 for 10 miles, compared to his winning time of 45:29 last year. Wacera's actual time of 48:35 projects to 51:45 for 10 miles; last year, Ethiopia's Mamitu Daska won the women's race in 52:05.

"I picked up the pace from three miles out," said Stephen Sambu. "I didn't want a replay of last year's finish when I had to outsprint Daniel Salel right at the finish."

Rather than the fraction of a second that has separated the top two finishers in the men's race the past couple of years, there was an eight-second gap between Sambu's finish and the surprising second-place finish of American Jacob Riley. (The last time an American man placed second in this race was in 1991, when Bill Reifsnyder did so.)

When asked about his mindset going into the race, Riley simply stated: "To be the best, you have to hang with the best."

Well, Riley certainly hung with and beat many of the best men racing on the roads this year, including third-place Kenyan Elisha Barno and Barno's countryman, 2013 Cherry Blossom champion Daniel Salel, who was fourth. American Girma Mescheso of West Chester, PA, was the second American, in fifth place.

In the women's race, Kenyan Mary Wacera and her compatriot Cynthia Jeretich Limo were both timed in 48:35. The organizers decided to pay bonuses based on projected times, so they will pay the sub-52:00 10-mile bonuses of $1,000 and $750 to Wacera and Jeretich Limo, respectively, based on their projected 10-mile finish times of 51:45 and 51:46.

If Sambu's winning time had projected to be sub-46:00, he would have earned a $1,000 bonus. If Riley had run just six seconds faster, his projected finish time would have surpassed the American record time of Greg Meyer (46:13), and he would have earned a $10,000 bonus.

After the race, Wacera was as ecstatic about course conditions as she was about her victory: "The fans were very motivating, and the course was so beautiful, with cherry blossoms everywhere."

Kenyans Aliphine Tuliamuk Bol, Monicah Wanjuhi Ngige and three-time Cherry Blossom champion Lineth Chepkurui placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively, while Serena Burla of Stafford, VA, was the first American woman across the line in sixth place.

The table below depicts both actual times and projected 10-mile times for the top ten overall male and female finishers, as well as the top ten American men and women. (American runners placing in the top ten overall were awarded pay-for-place earnings from both overall and American development purses.)



Actual time

Projected 10-mile time

Prize money


Stephen Sambu




Second/first American

Jacob Riley



$4,000 plus $5,000 as 1st American


Elisha Barno





Daniel Salel




Fifth/second American

Girma Mescheso



$1,000 plus $2,500 as 2nd American


Dominic Ondoro





Philip Langat





Leonard Korir





Mourad Marofit




Tenth/third American

Jared Ward



$500 plus $1,500 as 3rd American

Twelfth/fourth American

Luke Puskedra



$1,000 as 4th American

Thirteenth/fifth American

Chris Kwiatkowski



$800 as 5th American

Fourteenth/sixth American

Josh Dedering



$600 as 6th American

Fifteenth/seventh American

Brian Harvey



$400 as 7th American

Sixteenth/eighth American

Matt Sonnenfeldt



$300 as 8th American

*Seventeenth/ninth American

Andrew Brodeur



$200 as 9th American

*Eighteenth/tenth American

Tyler Andrews



$200 as 10th American

* A protest has been filed by Andrews over his tenth place finish. Placings are under review by the Chief Judge.

Place Name Actual time Projected 10-mile time Prize money and bonuses
First Mary Wacera 48:35 51:45 $8,000 plus $1,000 for 1st sub-52:00
Second Cynthia Jerotich Limo 48:35 51:46 $4,000 plus $750 for 2nd sub-52:00
Third Aliphine Tuliamuk Bol 49:20 52:33 $2,000
Fourth Monicah Wanjuhi Ngig 49:54 53:09 $1,500
Fifth Lineth Chepkurui 50:11 53:27 $1,000
Sixth/first American Serena Burla 50:18 53:35 $1,000 plus $5,000 as 1st American
Seventh Valentine Kibet 50:49 54:08 $800
Eighth/second American Megan Goethals 51:07 54:28 $700 plus $2,500 as 2nd American
Ninth/third American Juliet Bottorff 51:12 54:33 $600 plus $1,500 as 3rd American
Tenth/fourth American Lindsay Flanagan 51:15 54:36 $500 plus $1,000 as 4th American
Eleventh/fifth American Susanna Sullivan 51:44 55:06 $800 as 5th American
Twelfth/sixth American Katie Matthews 51:51 55:14 $600 as 6th American
Fourteenth/seventh American Heather Cappello 52:12 55:37 $400 as 7th American
Sixteenth/eighth American Jen Rhines 53:04 56:32 $300 as 8th American
Seventeenth/ninth American Karen Roa 54:26 57:59 $200 as 9th American
Eighteenth/tenth American Julia Roman-Duval 54:53 58:28 $100 as 10th American

Ben Beach, 65, of Bethesda, MD, remained the only runner to have completed the race all 43 times when he finished in 1:27:59 (1:33:45 projected for 10 miles).

Male and female winners of the 5K Run were Dylan Eddinger in a time of 17:02 and Ashley Kollme in 18:29, while 90-year-old Dixon Hemphill of Fairfax Station, VA, finished the 5K in 47:01, a little over two minutes faster than he ran in 2014 (49:07). The 5K course was not affected by the re-routing of the 10-mile course.

Over 26,000 runners submitted applications to participate in the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk, and the list of accepted runners represented all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. With a field limit of 15,000 established by the National Park Service and selected by lottery in December, not everyone who hoped to run was able to participate in the only truly elite race to be run in our Nation's Capital.

Since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk have raised over $7 million for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This year's fundraising effort brought in $525,852. The 2015 event marked the 14th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day.

About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 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 the United States. 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 New Balance, Gatorade, Gold's Gym, Navy Federal Credit Union, Larabar, BAE Systems, E-Trade, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, MarathonFoto, 201 Bar and Potomac River Running.

The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (, a five-race non-marathon prize money circuit with events in Utica, NY; San Juan, PR; Washington, DC; Spokane, WA and Atlanta, GA. The circuit is committed to a drug-free sport and funds USADA to conduct drug testing at all circuit events.

In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has earned Silver certification from the Council For Responsible Sport for its many environmentally and socially responsible initiatives.

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, and low or no-fee products and services. The credit union philosophy of placing members' needs first is why 100 million credit union members do their banking at one of America's 6,800 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: or

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