WASHINGTON — The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race will expand the number of entrants to 12,000 for 2008 and run a new course starting at the Washington Monument.

Registration opens Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. for the popular event that can fill up in a matter of a day or two. The popular event, which raises funds for the Children’s Miracle Network, is scheduled for April 6 next year. Runners can sign up to receive an e-mail reminder about the opening of online registration or a mail-in entry form at the event’s Web site at www.cherryblossom.org.

The event, the only world-class road race in Washington, D.C., will offer $35,500 in prize money, including $6,000 each to the top male and female runners, and time incentives to elite athletes from around the world.

Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., the official sponsor, hopes to raise over $1 million for the Children’s Miracle Network through donations and fundraising on the part of the runners and individual sponsoring credit unions and partners. The donations go back to area hospitals where the funds came from.