For Immediate Release

20 March 2019

Media Contact Information:
(not for publication)

Keith Peters, Media Coordinator
307-690-6803 or kpeters@cherryblossom.org

Website: www.cherryblossom.org


2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run Clinic Speakers Include 2004 Women's Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist, 11-time Ironman Champion and Cystic Fibrosis Survivor, and Epic Boston Marathon Runner-up

Lisa Bentley, Dick Beardsley, Michael Wardian and Hiruni Wijayaratne will join Deena Kastor on the roster of Health & Fitness Expo Clinicians and on the starting line on Sunday, April 7

March 20, 2019, Washington, DC: Organizers of the 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Health & Fitness Expo - to be held in conjunction with the upcoming Runner's Rite of Spring® in our Nation's Capital - announced today the lineup of clinics scheduled for Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, at the National Building Museum. The clinics are open to the general public. In addition, they announced that the last American woman to win the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile (1996), 57-year-old Joan Nesbit Mabe, will return to compete as an age grouper this year. The Ten Mile and 5K Run-Walk will be held on Sunday, April 7.

"Each year, we strive to line up speakers at our Health and Fitness Expo to inspire runners with their stories and performances. This year's line-up includes heroes with their own stories ranging from winning an Olympic medal, to overcoming serious illness to become a multi-time champion, to running seven sub-2:46 marathons in seven days on seven continents, and more. We hope everyone with an interest in hearing these stories - whether entered in the race or just a running enthusiast - will come listen."

After thoroughly enjoying her experience at the Health & Fitness Expo last year, 2004 Women's Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Deena Kastor will not only be speaking on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. this year, she'll be running in the Ten Mile race as an age-grouper. She won't, however, be competing directly with Nesbit Mabe. At age 46, she'll be chasing the women's Masters course record set by Priscilla Welch (53:51) in 1987. Deena will also be spending time in her own booth at the Health & Fitness Expo, signing autographs and selling copies of her book Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory.

Joining Deena on the schedule of clinic speakers are Lisa Bentley, Michael Wardian, Hiruni Wijayaratne, and Dick Beardsley. Canadian Triathlete Lisa Bentley, who overcame cystic fibrosis to win 11 Ironman Championships, will speak at 4 p.m. on Friday, and again at 1 p.m on Saturday. Wardian, arguably the most prolific American distance runner ever, will speak at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Dick Beardsley, whose world-class marathon career hit a marvelous peak in the early 1980s - most notably in the “Duel in the Sun” with Alberto Salazar at the 1982 Boston marathon - will speak at noon on Saturday. And Sri Lankan Olympic hopeful Hiruni Wijayaratne will speak at 3 p.m. on Saturday. All clinic presentations will take place in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum, with free public access.

Joining the clinic speakers on the starting line on Sunday morning will be Joan Nesbit Mabe, who won the 1996 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile in 53:25 as a 34-year-old road racing veteran. She remains the last American woman to win the race. Joan first ran the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile in 1986, and placed third overall as a 24-year-old, with a time of 54:41. This year, she'll be running with her daughter, Sarah Jane Kerwin.

The final pre-race press release, scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd will provide a comprehensive look at the invited field.

The 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run will mark the 18th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, nearly $9 million has been raised for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

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, Peet's Coffee, 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.

About Credit Union Miracle Day:

Credit Union Miracle Day is a partnership of over 100 credit unions, CUSOs and partner organizations united to sponsor the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run promoting awareness of the credit union difference and benefitting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide.

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' needs first is why more than 115 million Americans do their banking at one of America's 5,500 credit unions. Credit unions are for everyone - no matter where you live, there is a credit union to meet your needs.

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