August 26, 2021, Washington, DC: Organizers of the 48th edition of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run announced today that Jenny Simpson, three time Olympian (2008, 2012 and 2016 bronze medalist) and three time World Championship medalist (gold in 2011, silver in 2013 and 2017) would be making her long distance road racing debut in Washington, DC on September 12 at the USATF Men’s and Women’s Ten Mile Championships Presented by Toyota. While Jenny is no stranger to racing one mile on the roads — having won seven straight NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile events from 2013-19, and eight overall — she’ll be racing ten times as far on a flat, fast course that passes in sight of all the major Washington DC Memorials.
When Simpson was discussing her decision to explore new horizons with Cherry Blossom race organizers, she recalled: “My earliest memories and my introduction to the running world was through a community road race. As I pursued a professional career on the track, I’ve had the incredible joy of experiencing road racing as a spectator through my husband’s marathoning.”
She then added: “When I found myself this summer with the freedom to train for anything I wanted, my memory of the challenge and the fun of racing the roads tugged at my heart. I’m excited to take on the challenge of racing the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run. After years of battling within the oval track, I’m anxious to find out what I’m capable of on the roads of our Nation’s Capital. This race is so different in so many ways from what I know best. It’s exciting to know that after the success I’ve already experienced as a runner, there are still so many hard and rewarding challenges to take on.”
And Jenny is certainly taking on a big challenge right off the bat. While Keira D’Amato, who set American and World Records for 10 miles (51:23) at last November’s Up Dawg 10 Mile has withdrawn from Cherry Blossom in favor of continued training for the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Simpson will face plenty of top-flight competition. Jordan Hasay now boasts the fastest personal best among the American women (52:49), with Emma Bates not far off Hasay’s mark (52:51).
As of today, 17 elite American women are entered in the USATF 10 Mile Championships. The women will start 12 minutes before the men so performances will be eligible for ratification as women's-only records. This eliminates any benefit of being paced by males and also provides increased visibility for these talented female athletes.
With $26,000 in U.S. championship prize money on offer as well as a $10,000 bonus for an American Record (the bonus will be split if both the first-place male and female break the American records), road racing fans can look forward to hotly contested races among both the men and women. The race also will feature its traditional strong field of international runners competing for a $20,000 purse and a $10,000 bonus if a world record is broken by the winning male or female (split if both the male and female break the World Record).
With virtual editions held in April 2020 and 2021, the in-person Fall Edition of the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Runs marks the 20th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, over $10 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $439,000 in 2020. Of that $439,000, $66,000 came from runners donating their entry fees instead of asking for a refund when race weekend in our Nation’s Capital was wiped out by Covid-19.