High marks of all kinds were reached for this year’s Cherry Blossom Run and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals it helps support nationwide.
For one, Credit Union Miracle Day organizers kicked off the weekend by announcing Friday that $483,000 had been raised nationwide in the annual effort, including $112,000 alone by runners in the Washington race on Sunday and their families and friends.
“We are very proud of how credit unions and their business partners, including our lead partner, PSCU, and runners have all united and collaborated to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals under the umbrella of Credit Unions for Kids,” CUMD Chairman Juri Valdov said.
More than $6 million has been raised in the past 12 years and CUMD is slated to sponsor the race through 2016.
Speaking of the race, more than 15,000 runners competed under sunny skies amidst the cherry blossoms of the nation’s capital, with U.S. Olympian Janet Bawcom of Flagstaff, Ariz., setting a new American record of 53:28 for the 10-mile run.
Kenyan Caroline Rotich won the women’s race with a time of 52:46 while countrymen Daniel Salel and defending champion Allan Kiprono finished one-two in the men’s division with Salel coming in at 46:06.
This year 161 members of Congress from 39 states, American Samoa, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico served as honorary race chairs and nearly 800 congressional staffers competed in 70 teams. Companion events were held in Sacramento, Calif., and Kuwait with another set for later this month in Germany.
The Washington race itself was sanctioned by the USATF as the USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship with sponsorship from CUMD, CUNA and NAFCU.
From left, Tom Lazour, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Charlie Mallon, Congressional FCU (CUMD secretary and chair of CU Cherry Blossom Race Committee); Theresa Mann, The Partnership FCU and CUMD Vice Chair; Bob Hess, CUMD Ex-Officio Board; Juri Valdov, CUMD chair, Jan Roche, State Department FCU and treasurer of CUMD; Fred Becker, NAFCU president/CEO; Casey Duplantier, CUMD Board; Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO; Fredda McDonald, PSCU senior vice president and CUMD Board; Patty Jasper-Zellner, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Pat Wesenberg, Central City CU and CUNA chair; Chris Roe, CUNA Mutual, CUMD Board; Larry Buel, CUMD ex-officio board; and Bill Brooks, CUMD ex-officio board.
Caroline Rotich of Kenya wins the women’s division of the Cherry Blossom Run.
NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker and Kenya Ambassador Elkanah Odembo at the race dominated by world-class Kenyan distance runners.
Wheelchair contestant prepare to race at the Cherry Blossom Run on Sunday in Washington.