Potential Prize Money Payout Could Reach $74,600

March 15, 2024, Washington, DC: Organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile (CUCB) announced today that the April 7 event will serve as the USA Track and Field (USATF) 10 Mile Championships for American men and women for the second year in a row.


“This is a very special year for us to host the USATF Championships because nearly all of America’s top road runners recently participated in the Olympic Marathon Trials on February 3 in Orlando, FL and are now recovered and ready to run some fast times on the roads. We have received an unprecedented level of interest from a host of top Americans,” said Event Director Phil Stewart.


This will be the fifth time one or more of the USATF 10 Mile Championships have been hosted by CUCB race organizers: the women’s championships were part of the 2013 event, while Cherry Blossom hosted both the men’s and women’s championships in 2014, 2021 and again in 2023 for the 50th Anniversary. USATF champions crowned at CUCB include Janet Bawcom (2013), Christo Landry and Janet Bawcom (2014), Abbabiya Simbassa and Nell Rojas (2021) and last year Hillary Bor, who set the men’s American 10-mile record of 46:11, and Sara Hall.


This year, the American prize purse totals $21,300 per gender. International elite runners will be part of a field competing for $16,000 in prize money; American runners placing in the top-10 overall are eligible to receive both open and American-only prize money.


American record-holders on both the men’s and women’s sides lead strong fields into this year’s U.S. 10 Mile Championships. On the men’s side, Hillary Bor will defend last year’s title where he set the U.S. 10-mile record of 46:11. On the women’s side, Keira D’Amato, who owns the world’s women’s single-sex 10-mile best of 51:23 set in 2020, is favored in a field that includes two women—Emily Durgin and Annie Frisbie—who finished ninth and tenth at this year’s U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials.


Bor’s chief rival is Teshome Mekonen, who recently edged Bor by three seconds in the U.S. 15K Championships in Jacksonville, FL, on March 2, where fast times indicated they’re both ready to challenge Bor’s year-old American record, and possibly break 46 minutes.


The likely lead chaser of the top two is Biya Simbassa, 40 seconds behind Mekonen and 37 seconds behind Bor in Jacksonville. Simbassa’s 46:18 in the 2021 Cherry Blossom is the fourth-fastest American time ever in the race. Simbassa will head a fast group, all of whom have tangled with him in one race or another during the past year. That group includes Jacob Thomson, who surprised Simbassa in the 2023 American half marathon championship, winning in 1:02:38 to Simbassa’s 1:02:41. Andrew Colley, who finished less than a minute behind Simbassa at this year’s Aramco Half Marathon in Houston with a time of 1:01:39 to Simbassa’s 1:00:45, brings with him a record of distinction that includes second place in the 2023 U.S. cross-country championships, beating both Bor and Simbassa by 9 seconds and 14 seconds, respectively. In 2023, Colley placed seventh at the 2023 U.S. 20K Championships in New Haven. A dark horse in the event, Sam Chelanga, has the best marathon time of the field with a 2:08:50 for ninth place in last year’s Chicago Marathon. Chelanga also beat Colley, Simbassa and Thomson with a third-place finish at the 2023 National 20K Championships last September.


On the women’s side, Keira D’Amato is a clear choice for the win. Besides holding the world’s women’s best at 10 miles in a single-sex race, she is the former U.S. half-marathon record holder with her time of 1:06:39 set in last year’s Gold Coast Half Marathon in Australia, as well as the former U.S. marathon record holder with her time of 2:19:12 set at the 2022 Houston Marathon. In running a second-place time of 48:30 in the U.S. 15K championships on March 2nd, D’Amato showed her heels to her principal rivals in this year’s Cherry Blossom: Emily Durgin, third in 48:44, Annie Frisbie, fourth in 49:28 and Emma Grace Hurley, fifth in 49:52. Durgin comes in after placing ninth in the Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando in 2:27:56. Frisbie was fifth overall and third American in the 2021 Cherry Blossom in 52:26, the fourth-fastest American time ever. She came within a split second of Durgin in the Olympic Marathon Trials to place tenth against Durgin’s ninth in an identical time of 2:27:56. Frisbie was the first American finisher in the 2023 Berlin Marathon in 2:27:02. Emma Grace Hurley took fourth place at the 2023 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in 52:41 and third place at the 2023 U.S. 10K Championships at Cow Harbor running a 32:56.


Not to be counted out, Molly Huddle, this year’s only two-time Olympian finalist at 10,000m, in 2012 and 2016, is making a comeback. She placed seventh in last year’s New York City Half Marathon in 1:12:27, where she beat Frisbie by 59 seconds, after taking tenth place in the Aramco Half Marathon in 1:10:01. Finishing up 2023, Huddle ran her first marathon since 2019 in 2:32:02 in New York City for ninth place, taking home $15,000 as the second American. 


The 10 Mile is part of the Professional Road Racing Organization (PRRO) Circuit. The male and female winners will be eligible to compete for the $15,000 PRRO Super Bonus to be awarded at this year’s PRRO championship at the Lilac Bloomsday 12K in Spokane, WA on May 5.


The CUCB will also award $1,500 per gender to the top three past RRCA RunPro Campers, which is matched by Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) for a total payout of $3,000.


Time bonuses and a team prize purse is also available to eligible athletes. A full breakdown of the available prize money for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile can be found here.


Thanks to Credit Union Miracle Day’s title sponsorship since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has raised over $11 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $450,000 in 2023.

About Credit Union Cherry Blossom:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom, organized by Cherry Blossom, Inc., a 501(c)(3)chapter of the Road Runners Club of America, is known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®” in the Nation’s Capital. The staging area for the 10 Mile is on the Washington Monument Grounds and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, D.C. Memorials. The 5K begins at Freedom Plaza and proceeds down Pennsylvania Ave. to the U.S. Capitol building, tracing the route of Presidential Inaugurations. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier children’s hospitals across North America. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, D.C.’s own Children’s National (“Children’s Hospital”). The event also funds the Road Runners Club of America’s “RunPro Camp,” a program to teach top recently-graduated U.S. collegiate distance runners about life as a professional runner.


Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, 5K and Kids Run. Presenting sponsors include ASICS, BellSant, REI, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Wegmans; supporting sponsors include CO-OP Solutions, PSCU, TruStage, Outside, Potomac River Running, Gatorade Endurance, Suburban Solutions, United Lifestyle Brands and The Westin Washington DC Downtown hotel.


The 10 Mile is sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America and is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit, a series of this country’s classic road races with circuit stops in Washington, D.C.; Spokane, WA; Utica, NY; and Davenport, IA. The 5K was voted the Best 5K in the country by a 2023 USA Today poll.


To learn more, visit https://www.cherryblossom.org/.