November 2, 2022, Washington, DC: In a major change to its 50th anniversary celebration, Credit Union Cherry Blossom (CUCB) organizers announced that the 5K, which has been held on the Washington Monument Grounds on the same day as the 10 Mile since it became a timed run-walk in 2006, will become a standalone event on Saturday, April 1, 2023, the day before the 50th annual 10 Mile. The 5K will stage on Freedom Plaza and traverse the route of Presidential Inaugurations down Pennsylvania Avenue before crossing the National Mall in the shadow of the Capitol Building and returning by the same route. REI Co-op will be the presenting sponsor of the 5K and the ½ mile Kids Run, which will also be held on Saturday, April 1, at the National Building Museum.
Unlike previous years, there will be no lottery for the 5K. Entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until the event reaches its 5,000-runner limit. To give runners the opportunity to run both events, the lottery for the 10 Mile will be held prior to the opening of first come, first served 5K registration. The 10 Mile lottery will open from Thursday, December 1 at 10:00 am to 11:59 pm on Thursday, December 15, 2022. Registration for the 5K will open on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, after results of the 10 Mile lottery have been posted, and will continue until the 5K fills — or February 28, 2023 — whichever comes first. Registration for the Kids Run will open on Tuesday, January 2, 2023.
Event Director Phil Stewart said: “In an effort to celebrate runners at all levels, we are excited to give our 5K its own stage — and what a stage it will be —featuring a dramatic course down Pennsylvania Avenue and across the National Mall. This new format opens the possibility for our 10 Mile entrants to enjoy a full weekend of running in our Nation’s Capital by running the 5K on Saturday and the 10 Mile on Sunday, which just happens to total exactly a half marathon over two days. As we embark on this new format, we are equally excited to introduce REI as our first-ever 5K and Kids Run presenting sponsor.”
REI’s Brand Engagement Manager for Washington, DC John McClamy added, “Time outside is fundamental to a life well-lived, and we could not be more excited to support runners across the region participating in the 2023 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 5K and Kids Run. We go further together, whether we are walking, jogging, running, or crawling across the finish line. We can’t wait to get outside with the community in April to complement our focus to foster more inclusive outdoor spaces and events.”
With six stores in the Washington, DC area, REI is poised to help runners of any skill level confidently run outside and through all weather conditions. The company is broadening its product assortment of the most sought-after running gear, evolving in-store experiences, and expanding partnerships to help more customers turn to the co-op for their individualized running needs. Details about training and group runs in the capital region will be available early next year. The co-op also hosts online resources through its Expert Advice and its YouTube channel.
Other significant changes to the 5K include:
- Race day packet pick-up at the Health & Fitness Expo at the National Building Museum on Friday, March 31, or on Freedom Plaza on race morning.
- Expanded awards to include five deep overall as well as the top three finishers in each age group.
- T-shirts and medals will be specific to the 5K.
- There will be special awards for runners who participate in both races.
There will also be virtual editions of the 10 Mile and 5K, which will take place during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20 – April 16, 2023. Virtual Run registration will open on January 2, 2023.
Thanks to Credit Union Miracle Day’s title sponsorship since 2002, Credit Union Cherry Blossom races have raised over $10.2 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $323,000 in 2022.