Statement on Bag Check and 5K Medals

The organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom want to apologize for several areas of the race that obviously did not live up to the standards runners expect of this event, notably the new bag check system and the shortage of medals in the 5K Run-Walk. The bag check system was being used for the first time and, because of some rookie mistakes (made despite reservations by our Bag Check coordinator), created long delays in picking up bags. We will address a number of the problems before next year’s race including greater attention to sorting the checked bags and possibly an alphabetical instead of bib number based drop off system in order to solve these problems.

The shortage of 5K medals was caused by a large number of individuals who chose to run the 5K instead of the 10 mile on race day, a decision we encourage because of our NPS mandated 2:20:00 cut off time in the 10 mile. Over 700 people made the decision to switch events in the last 48 hours swelling our 2100 5K entrants with two days to go to a whopping 2900 finishers on race day. Also we decided to provide those who purchased medals with the medal for the event they completed. So many of these 10 milers who switched to the 5K Run-Walk were given 5K medals because that is the event they completed. These two factors caused us to run out of 5K medals. Rest assured, we will mail out 5K Run-Walk medals for anyone who did not receive a medal.

The weather surpassed our wildest expectations and we would like to congratulate all of our finishers including many who ran personal best times. In case you are not aware, Stanley Kebenei set an American 10 mile men’s record of 46:00, breaking Greg Meyer’s time of 46:13 set in this race back in 1983 and Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya who posted the fastest women’s time ever run in all-women’s race ever run in the United States and a new women’s course record with a time of 50:42. Plus the blossoms were spectacular!