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Race organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run cancelled, Free Virtual Race Planned

Race organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run - The Runners' Rite of Spring® for the past 47 years - announced on Saturday the cancellation of all of the activities over race weekend, April 3-5, including the Health and Fitness Expo, the Kids' Run, 10 Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk. They announced today preliminary plans for a free virtual race, details of which are still to be determined.

Event director Phil Stewart said, "We've faced heat, cold and high winds at the event since 1973, but never a broad health threat like the COVID-19 virus. The organizing committee held out hope that the virus might peak and start to decline in the three weeks that remained before race day. However, when the warnings by Federal and local officials along with Public Health Agencies showed that we were still on the upslope of the virus, we knew we needed to take action - however painful - to minimize our participants' exposure at our event."

The event will offer full refunds to all participants but is encouraging entrants to donate their entry fee to the official race charity, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Event Director Phil Stewart noted: "Since 2002, over $9.5 million has been raised on behalf of 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, including $385,000 from last year's event. We would like to carry on the legacy of enabling Credit Union Miracle Day to make a sizeable contribution to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, even though the annual tradition of the race itself will be interrupted this year."

Stewart went on to add: "If a significant number of runners were to choose to donate their entry fees, we just might be able to break through the $10 million dollar mark."

The email sent to all registered runners on Saturday outlined three options for participants to choose from: 1) donating their entry fee to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, 2) getting a full refund of their entry fee, or 3) offering a guaranteed entry (lottery exemption) into the 2021 event and no refund of the 2020 entry fee.

The entry process for next year's event, scheduled for April 11, 2021 (a week later than usual due to Easter falling on the first Sunday in April), will be conducted by lottery scheduled for December 1-12. Runners choosing one of the first two options outlined above will have to apply to the lottery and pay the 2021 registration fee. Runners choosing the option of guaranteed entry will also have to pay the 2021 registration fee but will not need to enter the lottery. Runners will have until April 15th at 11:59 p.m. to make their choice using an online form that will be made available to runners over the next few days. With more guaranteed entry codes being made available through this process, Stewart anticipates that fewer slots will be available through the lottery itself, something he suggests runners should think about as they make their choices.

In recognition of the countless miles logged by 16,000 runners entered in the 10 mile and 2,000 in the 5K Run-Walk, the organizers will conduct a free virtual run as a way for runners to celebrate all of the preparation they have done in anticipation of the race. Stewart said: "Over 12,000 had signed up for free training programs hosted by Coach Kirt West and Runcoach, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for them to celebrate and cap off their training." Details about the Virtual Run will be posted at www.cherryblossom.org.

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.

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run is also part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, "America's Greatest Springtime Celebration."

Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers in partnership with CUNA Mutual Group, PCSU and CO-OP Financial Services, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, 5K Run-Walk and Kids' Run. Presenting sponsors include ASICS, the official shoe and apparel sponsor; Garmin, the presenting technology sponsor; Gold's Gym, presenting sponsor of the race pace groups; and Med Star Health, presenting sponsor of the Fall Kickoff Reception. Supporting sponsors include E-Trade, Gatorade, Honey Stinger, Mamma Lucia, Potomac River Running, Suburban Solutions and UPS.

The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (PRRO.org), a series of major 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.

(03/18/2020) Views: 276 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee is excited to Offer $10,000 World Record Bonuses at this year’s race

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee is excited to announce new World Record bonuses being offered at this year’s race, scheduled for Sunday, April 5. These new bonuses are in addition to the $10,000 bonuses that have been offered to the first U.S. male and female breaking the American Record for the last three years.

Since the race started in 1973, the annual Runner’s Rite of Spring ® has been the site of 10 world and nine American records. The first World Record was set in 1986 when Portugal's Rosa Mota ran 53:09, and the most recent was in 2007 when Ethiopia's Teyba Erkesso set the Single-sex Women's World Record with a time of 51:44 (which still stands).

The first American Record set at the event was in 1976 by Julie Shea in 57:04, and the most recent by Janet Bawcom with a Single-sex Women's American Record of 52:12 in 2014.

Event Director Phil Stewart said, "As the 19 world and American records show, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile has long been the venue for extraordinary international and American stars to showcase their talents on the streets of the Nation's Capital. We hope that offering the new World Record bonuses will set the stage for our 20th World or American record performance as the event closes in on its gala 50th running in 2022. Our organizing committee has always taken great pride in staging a world-class sporting event for these elite athletes alongside a beloved spring tradition for 16,000 participants taking up to three times as long to cover the same distance."

The addition of the bonuses brings the total amount of prize money and bonuses up for grabs in 2020 to $116,500. A complete breakdown of that $116,500 includes the aforementioned $20,000 should both men’s and women’s World Records be broken (see times below); $10,000 for the first American man to break Greg Meyer’s American Record of 46:13, set here in 1983; $10,000 for the first American woman to break Bawcom’s American Record of 52:12, set here in 2014; $40,000 in open prize money, plus a possible $3,500 in time bonuses, paid equally to the top-ten men and women; and $25,000 in American prize money, again paid equally to the top-ten American men and women.

In addition, race organizers have collaborated with the Road Runners Club of America to offer a total of $6,000 to the top-three American men and women who qualify as past recipients of RRCA Road Scholar Grants, or are RRCA RunPro Camp alumni. Finally, the Washington Metropolitan Area Team Championship Division offers $1,000 to the first place men’s and women’s teams consisting of talented, open-division DC-area Running Club Store or Running Club teams.

(01/24/2020) Views: 401 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru ran the fastest 10 miles on US soil in a women's-only race clocking 50:42 at Cherry Blossom

Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru won the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on Sunday with 50:42, breaking the long-standing course record set 21 years ago by Colleen De Reuck.

Her winning time is also the best mark ever achieved on a record-eligible course in a women-only race.

Wanjiru, the 2015 African Games 5000m silver medallist, sped through the first five kilometres in 15:50 and 10 kilometres in 31:12 and had Ethiopia’s 2011 world U18 3000m champion Gotytom Gebreslase on her shoulder.

The pair were still side by side at 15 kilometres, reached in 47:13, but Wanjiru managed to edge ahead in the closing stages to win in 50:42.

Gebreslase finished second in 50:47, just one second shy of the Ethiopian record. Kenya’s Margaret Muriuki was third in 51:38.

Emma Bates (middle photo) nearly made it a double American record day, missing Janet Bawcom’s 52:12 from the 2014 Cherry Blossom race. That Bates ran 52:18 surprised her, given a rib-area muscle injury she suffered two weeks ago that has made breathing “excruciating.”

“To know I could run that close to the American record despite this is really exciting,” she said. Bates, 26, had just run 1:11:13 for fourth place at the NYC Half Marathon in March when she tried holding a plank while holding herself perpendicular to a vertical pole. On her third try, she tore some of her intercostal muscles, which

Bates, a Boise State alumna who lives in Western Idaho, has not had it easy during the last few cold weeks, but race temperatures in the 50s helped loosen things up. She also got a boost from her sister and her sister’s fiance, who cheered in the latter stages of the race, and from her relatively newfound fame, after running the U.S. marathon championships in December and signing a professional contract with Asics.

“I don’t think people realize what it means to hear your name out there,” she said.

(04/08/2019) Views: 1,146 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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Stanley Kebenei broke the American 10 mile record at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile

Stanley Kebenei could pick from a few comeback stories on his way to setting the American record at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. A year ago, he was sitting at home nursing an Achilles tendon injury that left him in despair.

A week ago, he had just run a miserable race for the world cross country championships. But none of that mattered when he crossed the line Sunday in 46:00, breaking Greg Myer’s 1983 record of 46:13, also run at Cherry Blossom.

“It’s a dream come true,” Kebenei said. “You should never lose hope.”

He put his 35th place finish in Aarhus, Denmark behind him when he flew to Washington, D.C. and spent the intervening week training in Maryland. He’s a Kenyan-born American citizen who ran at the University of Arkansas and trains in Colorado Springs with the American Distance Project.

“I just didn’t even think about (world cross country),” he said. “It was one race, and this was another. I had my eye on the American record.”

He told Elite Athlete Coordinator Bill Orr as much the morning of the race, then went out to back up the shot that he had called.

Kebenei, 29, felt sluggish early on, but by the third mile, the lead pack began throwing in surges, which Kebenei felt comfortable covering. By mile eight, though, things had changed, and when  defending champion Jemal Yimer started pulling away, Kebenei, who won the 2017 race, had to decide between trying to top Yimer or focusing on his record attempt.

He backed off.

“If I had tried to run with them, I felt like I might have lost it in the last mile and slowed down too much,” he said. “I focused on a mile at a time at the end, but wanted to be ready for the last hill.”

Kebenei had spent a good portion of 2018 fretting about his Achilles.

“I was sitting in my house, feeling helpless and desperate,” he said. “Some injuries give you hope, but a hurt Achilles’ tendon makes your mind weak.”

He didn’t feel confident again until the Twin Cities 10 Mile in October, where he finished third.

(04/08/2019) Views: 862 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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Cedric King is a double amputee that hopes to inspire others as he takes on the Cherry Blossom Run ten miller

Retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Cedric King sustained severe injuries while serving in Afghanistan in 2012: He lost part of his right arm and hand, and both of his legs were amputated.

King spent the last three of his 20 years of service at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, recovering from injuries.

But this Sunday, he’s going to lead “Team Cedric” in the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Race. And the objective is not just to cross the finish line, but to inspire others to take on challenges that may seem insurmountable.

“The hard part about it isn’t necessarily the 10 miles,” King said. “The hard part about it is — I’m running with no legs — with prosthetic legs.”

“Team Cedric” includes members of Pentagon Federal Credit Union and the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation. King said some of his teammates have only ever run a mile or two at a time, and while some are not sure they can make it 10 miles, they’re all determined to try.

King wants people facing difficult life situations to feel that same determination and persistence — people who may be receiving chemotherapy treatments, people who are struggling single mothers, or people who are facing business, community or financial hardships can all look at “Team Cedric” and see a group of people facing their fears.

“If we can face our fears and do it afraid, then guess what,” he asked. “You can do it afraid too.”

“And, when we make it to the finish line,” King said, “maybe that’s a representation of somebody else making it to their finish line.”

King said it’s proof that “if we can do it, then you can do it too.”

(04/06/2019) Views: 876 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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Past Champions Jemal Yimer And Buze Diriba wants to Defend their Titles at Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile

Organizers of the 47th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run announced today that 2018 champions Jemal Yimer and Buze Diriba will return to our nation's capital to defend their titles on Sunday, April 7. Past champions Stanley Kebenei(2017) and Stephen Sambu (2014 & 2015) will join Yimer on the starting line at 7:30 a.m., while Diriba will be joined by 2017 women's champion Hiwot Gebrekidan and the other elite women, who will have their own separate start at 7:18 a.m. One other past champion, Joan Nesbit Mabe, who was the last American woman to win Cherry Blossom in 1996, will be competing as an age grouper in the 55-59 women's category, starting alongside some 16,000 other runners.

This year's race will offer $96,500 in prize money and bonuses to top runners in the 10-mile:

$40,000 in prize money, plus a possible $3,500 in bonuses will be awarded in equal amounts to the top 10 international men and women;

time bonuses include $1000 for 1st sub-46:00 male; $750 for 2nd sub-46:00, $1000 for 1st sub-52:00 female; $750 for 2nd sub-52:00 female;

$25,000 in American Development Prize Money will be awarded in 2019 to the top 10 U.S. men and women, with double dipping allowed - meaning top American runners can collect top-10 overall prize money and top-10 American Development Prize Money;

As they have since 2017, race organizers are offering a $10,000 American record bonus for the first American man to break Greg Meyer's American record of 46:13, set here in 1983, and for the first American woman to break Janet Bawcom's single-sex American record of 52:12, set here in 2014;

Thanks to a collaborative effort between Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run organizers and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), $1,500, $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to the top-three men and women alumni of two innovative developmental programs, the RRCA Roads Scholars Grants, and RRCA's RunPro Camp.

Event Director Phil Stewart said: "We are pleased to host the Washington area's only internationally significant road race, featuring top runners from around the globe. We also believe in helping Americans onto the world stage through our American prize money and support for RRCA Roads Scholars and RunPro Camp alumni. These elite athletes provide inspiration to 16,000 others who chase after them in vain."

Defending champion and two-time runner-up (2016 & 2017) Buze Diriba comes in as the favorite in the women's race. As it has since 2006 - with the exception of the wind-plagued 2016 event, when the women's start was combined with the men's - the separate start for women mentioned in the first paragraph will allow for the women's times to be considered as women's-only records without any effect of being paced by males. The format also provides increased visibility for these talented female athletes.

(04/04/2019) Views: 987 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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9 Million dollars have been raised for Children's Miracle Network at Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run

Back in 2002, when Credit Union Miracle Day (CUMD) became the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk, one of the primary goals for the event was to enhance the funds raised for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) through the Credit Unions for Kids program, which already had made the credit union movement one of the largest fundraisers for CMN. The race has been a highly successful addition and in the 18th year of CUMD sponsorship the total funds raised for CMN is closing in on $9 million dollars.

CUMD Chair Theresa Mann said: "Raising funds to help treat sick children across the country is a natural fit for credit unions that strive to give back to their local communities. We are tremendously excited to be reaching $9 million dollars in total funds raised with this year's race. What better way for credit unions to show their commitment to the communities they serve."

Individual runners can still do their part by raising at least $500 for Children's Miracle Network prior to February 15, thus gaining guaranteed entry into this year's event which sold out in December and will take place on April 7. Individuals can raise the funds on their own or by gathering donations from family members and friends.

"Charity entries represent a great opportunity to support the ground-breaking medical research and world-class medical services provided by the 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the county, and earn a spot on the starting line," said Event Director Phil Stewart. "All funds raised go to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in the community of each individual fundraiser. I am confident that with the combined support of the sponsoring credit unions and individual fundraisers we will push well beyond the $9 million dollar total this year."

(02/13/2019) Views: 1,041 ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. 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,...

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Ethiopians Yimer And Diriba Cherry Blossom Ten Mile winners but the wind slowed down everyone

On his first trip to America, 21-year-old Jemal Yimer broke away from a dwindling lead group in the last mile of Sunday's Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to win the race in a time of 46:17. His compatriot Buze Diriba won the women's race in 53:45 after finishing second here the past two years. In a race full of stories, another highlight was 60-year-old Joan Benoit Samuelson's single-age and 60-64 age group record for women of 1:07:56. Given the dire weather forecast of snow on Saturday night earlier in the week, runners and race organizers were delighted to awake to clear blue skies and peak cherry blossoms this morning. While it was a cold 35 degrees at the start, conditions were ideal for racing, though it was a bit too windy for really fast times up front. (04/09/2018) Views: 1,074 ⚡AMP
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For six miles there were 20 Runners in the Lead Pack at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

As the elite men’s racers took off in the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the large pack that typically separates into smaller groups of runners at different paces didn’t budge. Instead, for the first half of the 46th annual race, which has a course that features views of the city’s monuments amid the newly bloomed cherry blossom trees, the men stayed together. Until about the sixth mile, there were about 20 runners in the lead group, proving the deep talent pool this year’s competition offered. But in the last stretches of the course, a few pulled ahead and as Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, 21, reached the nine-mile marker, he made his move to the front of the lead group. Yimer, who had never been to the United States before entering this race and is excited to go sightseeing, used the burst to win the elite men’s division in 46 minutes and 17 seconds. Aweke Ayalew Yimer finished five seconds behind as runner-up in 46:22, while Philip Langat (46:25), James Kibet (46:36) and Chris Derrick (46:53) rounded out the top five. In the women’s race Buze Diriba, 24, representing Ethiopia, won in 53 minutes and 45 seconds. Diriba had been second in the previous two Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Runs and avenged last year’s runner-up finish by 15 seconds to Hiwot Gebrekidan. Gebrekidan, last year’s winner, crossed the line three seconds after Diriba at 53:48. Hiwott Yemer (53:51), Alemitu Hawi (53:53), Diane Nukuri (53:56) and Vicoty Chepngeno (53:59) completed the top six. (04/08/2018) Views: 1,247 ⚡AMP
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Prize Money and Bonuses Offered Exceed $100,000 at Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run

As they have for the past several years, organizers of the 46th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run will offer over $90,000 in prize money and bonuses to top runners, including a $10,000 American record bonus for the first American man to break Greg Meyer's American record of 46:13, set here in 1983, and for the first American woman to break Janet Bawcom's American record of 52:12, set here in 2014. In addition, the Professional Road Racing Organization's (PRRO) 2018 Championship - with an additional $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus available to the winners of the five PRRO Circuit races, should one of them win the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile will also serve as the 2018 Road Runners Club of America National Championship for ten miles, and will award $1,200 each to the first male and female finishers among RRCA Roads Scholars and Run Pro Camp alumni. Going to be a good paid day for the elites. (04/04/2018) Views: 1,382 ⚡AMP
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The Cherry Blossom Ten Miler has a lot of exciting things Planned

Joan Benoit Samuelson, Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor highlight race and Health & Fitness Expo lineups. The 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and 5K Run-Walk, to be held on April 8, will truly offer something for everyone with an interest in distance running. In addition to hosting the 2017-18 Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) Championship, and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) National 10-Mile Championship...America’s three most highly decorated marathon runners will be making appearances and signing autographs leading up to and including race day. “We are pleased to have true American marathon royalty appearing at our Health and Fitness Expo this year,” said Event Director Phil Stewart. “Joan, Deena and Meb have been the dominant names in American marathon running going back to the 1980s when Joan won the gold medal in the first women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984”. (03/28/2018) Views: 1,193 ⚡AMP
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Olympians Keflezighi and Kastor will help celebrate the RRCA 60th Birthday

Since 1958, the Road Runners Club of America, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the promotion of distance running, have gathered in different cities around the country for the RRCA National Convention. This year's Convention will be held April 5-8, 2018 in Arlington, VA. The event concludes on Sunday April 8 with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K race, which serves as the 2018 RRCA National 10 Mile Championship Event. Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor will be the keynote speakers at the luncheon. (02/02/2018) Views: 1,169 ⚡AMP
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