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WASHINGTON-John K. Korir of Kenya was the first competitor to cross the finish line in the 33rd annual running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race, but Children’s Miracle Network got the more than $400,000 jackpot. Tempermental weather did not keep Korir from posting a time of 46:54 in the race, which he had also won in 2001 and 2003. In the women’s race, 34-year-old Romanian Nuta Olaru strode past the finish line with a winning time of 52:01, a personal best. Each received $6,000 out of a $31,000 purse, the event’s largest ever. Proceeds from the Cherry Blossom race exceeded $425,000 this year and were donated to CMN. Since 2002, when Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. began sponsoring the race, it has raised more than $1 million for CMN with this year being the most yet. The Credit Union Miracle Day Inc. is a partnership of credit unions and affiliated organizations. More than 500 credit union members served as volunteers and about half of the 10,000 race entrants were credit union members. Though their times may not have been as swift as the winners, a number of credit union officials also participated in the race. For the men, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica (61) finished in 2:08:59, while NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker (55), coming back from a broken leg at Christmas, completed the race in 1:37:45. Navy Federal Credit Union President and CEO Cutler Dawson (57) achieved a time of 2:04:53 and recently retired head of Navy Federal Credit Union Brian McDonnell (61) finished in 2:11:29. Air Academy Federal Credit Union CEO Glenn Strebe (39) finished in 1:05:52; First Combined Community Federal Credit Union CEO Bill Brooks (53), the force behind credit unions’ original sponsorship of the race, finished in 1:38:24 and The Summit Federal Credit Union CEO Mike Vadala (48) finished in 1:32:57. CUNA Political Affairs staffer Tom Gannon (27) completed the race in 1:20:51. Female credit union representatives in the race included Chief of Staff to the NCUA Chairman Holly Herman (45), who ran the 10 miles in just under two hours; Bank Fund Staff Federal Credit Union Director of Operations Joan Dombroski (47) ran it in 1:26:45; and CUNA Director of Grassroots and Political Involvement Gretchen Graf (30) finished with a time of 1:20:26. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) (63) braved the weather to complete the race in 1:46:48. Supporting sponsors included Gatorade, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Metro Run & Walk. The run is part of the 2005 National Cherry Blossom Festival from March 26 to April 10. The race also funds two $5,000 grants for developing U.S. distance runners as part of the Road Runners Club of America’s Roads Scholar program. Local ABC affiliate WJLA Channel 7 planned to air a half-hour special at noon on Saturday, April 9, as well as the Outdoor Living Network. Complete race results and additional information are available at www.cherryblossom.org. -

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