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For Immediate Release

7 October 2009

CONTACTS: Race information is available on the web www.cherryblossom.org, by email at info@cherryblossom.org, or on the race hotline, 301-320-3350.

Phil Stewart
Event Director
301-320-6865
pstewart@cherryblossom.org
(do not publish this number or email)

Frank McNally
Media Coordinator
703-801-2566 (cell); 540-338-5648 (e) (do not publish these numbers)


Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and 5K Run-Walk Introduces Lottery for 2010 Event

On-line Lottery Sign-up Opens December 1, 2009

WASHINGTON Ė After the 2009 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run filled its on-line quota of 12,000 runners last year in just 2 hours and 45 minutes, the organizers have decided to institute a lottery system for entry into the 2010 event. Under the new system, entrants will be able to register for the lottery over a 10-day period between 10:00 AM on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 and 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 10, 2009. Entrants will be electronically selected for the 10 mile and 5K Run-Walk after the lottery registration period closes and the results of the selection process for both events will be posted on the event website, www.cherryblossom.org, by 10:00AM on Tuesday, December 15.

The lottery system will allow families, friends, or any group of up to 10 people to register as a "Group." Under the selection process, if a "Group" is selected, all members of the group will receive entries into the race; if the group is not selected, no one will receive entries. This will avoid situations in which a husband gets in and his wife does not, etc.

"The lottery system will be much more fair," said Event Director Phil Stewart, "and much less frantic for race applicants because they will have 10 days to enter the lottery. The lottery will eliminate the system overload problems many entrants experienced last year when peak registration densities approached 12 registrations a second, as well as provide an opportunity for individuals who cannot enter during business hours to gain entry into the race."

Everyone who tried to enter the race last year will receive an email reminder about the opening of the lottery. Individuals who did not attempt to enter last year can sign up for the lottery reminder at www.cherryblossom.org. Reminders will be sent in late November.

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom, known as "The Runnerís Rite of Springģ," will be held on Sunday, April 11, 2010, a week later than the normal first-Sunday in April date due to Easter falling on the first weekend. The race course, staging area on the Washington Monument Grounds, the Health and Fitness Expo site at the National Building Museum, and the race headquarters hotel at the Grand Hyatt Washington will all remain the same for 2010.

The event, which serves as the only world-class road race in the Nation's Capital, will offer $40,000 in prize money and time incentives to elite athletes from around the world. The top male and female athletes will earn checks for $7,500 each.  There will also be incentives for American athletes to continue to improve.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network, a consortium of 170 premier childrenís hospitals across the United States. Since the Credit Unions became the title sponsor in 2002, over $4.5 million dollars has been raised, including $1 million last year through donations and fundraising on the part of the runners and individual sponsoring Credit Unions and partners. About one-quarter of these funds support Washington, DCís own Children's National Medical Center ("Children's Hospital").

The organizers are very pleased to announce Potomac River Running as the new retail partner for the 2010 race. "We felt that Potomac River Running was a perfect match for the event with its authentic service and support of running in the Washington area at its seven locations," Event Director Stewart said. Ray Pugsley, one of the owners of Potomac River Running, won the masters (40-and-over division) in the 2009 race with a very fast time of 52:08.

For the third straight year, the event has been selected as the National 10 Mile Championship of the Road Runners Club of America. The event is part of the Professional Road Running Organization Circuit. Additional sponsors of the event include Gatorade and Navy Federal Credit Union.

 The event takes place on the final weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a two-week celebration (Saturday, March 27 to Sunday, April 11) of sporting and cultural events that commemorates the blossoming of the fabled trees donated to this country by Japan in the early 20th century.

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Stats: The following is a history of the amount of time it has taken the race to fill up in recent years:

2009: 2 hours and 45 minutes
2008: 4 hours
2007: 21-1/2 hours
2006: 29 hours

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