WASHINGTON (4/7/14)--It may have been called the Credit Union 'Almost-Cherry Blossom' Run by one announcer, but the
Both the Men's and Women's USA 10-Mile Championships presented by America's Credit Unions were held in conjunction with the 42nd Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run Sunday. Mamitu Daska (not shown) of Ethiopia won the Women's race and Kenyan Stephen Sambu (not shown) won the Men's. However, the particpipants pictured above appear to have won a whole lot of good feelings with their finishes. (CUNA Photo)
late blooming of Washington's glorious Japanese Cherry Trees didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the 15,000 runners who signed on to help raise almost a half-million dollars for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) Sunday.
A record number of members of Congress became honorary race chairs of the event this year--231 representing all 50 states. Capitol Hill staffers also are present among participants in the race, which was awarded most popular D.C. race by readers of Washingtonian magazine last year.
Overheard conversations between runners reported near-ideal race conditions. There was just a bit of a headwind in a final leg of the course, which winds its way along national monuments and the landmark Tidal Basin.
Also arriving with much spirit were the many credit union volunteers. They hit the National Mall in chilly pre-dawn hours to back the runners by setting up support stations, and stayed through a beautiful sunrise and during the festive after-race activities.
The volunteers, like the Credit Union National Association's faithful crew at the baggage check-in tent, helped stow the
For the 13th consecutive year, CUNA volunteers helped to tag, stow, secure and then return the thousands and thousands of bags of runners' personal belongings. (CUNA Photo)
personal belongings of the racers, helped organize thousands of bananas for post-race distribution, pointed the way to the right starting spots at the right time, handed out space blankets to each finisher, and lined up medals and awards to recognize achievements, among other support activities.
Credit Union Miracle Day became the title sponsor group of the now 42-year-old race in 2002 and will remain so through 2016. The effort is a collaboration of 101 credit unions and 48 business partners and credit union service organizations, including lead partner PSCU.
CUMD's 2014 donation of $487,000 will bring the 13-year total of funds donated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide to well-over $6 million. Approximately $102,000 of the total was raised by runners and their families and friends alone.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are an alliance of premier children's hospitals that treat 10 million critically ill children each year, regardless of their ability to pay.
The donations are made under the umbrella of Credit Unions for Kids, one of the top three corporate contributors to Children's' Miracle Network nationwide.
The race, as always, boasted a star-studded field. It included defending champion Janet Bawcom, who broke a record and finished second, U.S. Olympians Jen Rhines and Blake Russell, Sara Hall and Lindsey Scherf on the women's side. Participating in the men's field were Matt Tegenkamp, Mo Trafeh--winner of the Half Marathon and 25K USA Championships in 2013--Christo Landry and Matt Llano.
The runners competed for a total of $81,800 in prize money, the largest amount awarded at the race to date.
Also on Sunday, the third annual Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Run took place at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Nearly 2,000 participants signed on for the event which features a 10-mile race, a three-person relay and a kids' Miracle Mile.
The 2014 Run serves as the Pacific Association 10-Mile Championship, Parties interested in the credit union fundraising effort can use the resource link below to make a contribution.