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<p>WASHINGTON-The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run raised over $60,000 for Children’s Miracle Network April 7 and runners are still collecting funds, according to the man who jumpstarted it all for credit unions, Bill Brooks, president and CEO of Lafayette Federal Credit Union. Brooks, a runner himself, finished the race in about 87 minutes and said he was sore but happy. He has run the course for the last eight years. “I hope next year we’ll have as lovely a day,” he said. It was good weather for running, he explained, with no wind and temperatures in the 40s. The Cherry Blossom race committee already has a meeting scheduled for this week to discuss how to improve upon this year’s experience for next year, though everything went fairly smoothly in the credit unions’ inaugural year, he said. Brooks applauded the efforts of the credit union community, “The credit union people did a good job of it.” Following the race, he observed of the runners and course volunteers, “I think everybody out there knows they were a part of something really great.” The male winner of the 30th Annual Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run was Rueben Cheruiyot from Kenya, who finished in 47 minutes and 13 seconds. The female winner was Luminita Talpos from Romania, finishing in 52:50. HEW FCU Accounting Manager and 2004 Olympic hopeful Sunny Newsome finished 28th with a time of 1:01:17. To determine the official winners: it’s all in the shoes. Runners had computer chips tied to their shoes, which recorded the name, address, age, and sex of the runner as they crossed the finish line by a magnetic strip spanning the track. To ensure fairness, the chips were tripped as runners crossed the start line as well, so those way in the back would not have additional time added to their runs. Due to a swollen knee, CUNA CEO Dan Mica was unable to complete the 10-mile run, but finished the alternate 5K. NAFCU CEO Fred Becker, a former Navy man, went the distance, completing the 10 miles in one hour and 20 minutes. Brooks, whom Becker beat, said that NAFCU’s CEO had spent the entire last year complaining about the distance. The Thursday prior to the race a ceremony was held at Children’s Hospital and Friday a running clinic was held. Saturday there was an expo to allow runners to pick up their credentials and numbers and field inquiries about credit unions. The 2002 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and 5K Walk benefited the Children’s Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization that supports 170 children’s hospitals throughout North America. [email protected]</p>

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