Race to Enter 2014 Cherry Blossom Run Begins; Lottery Deadline is Dec. 13

The National Park Service caps the number of participants in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run at 15,000, saying it needs to balance the needs of runners with those of the thousands of tourists in town for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

It may seem as if someone is always running for something in Washington, D.C., but it’s not often that 15,000 runners gather in the nation’s capital to raise money for credit unions’ favorite charity.

In fact, that only happens once a year, when elite runners and everyday joggers rub elbows with politicians and their Capitol Hill staffers in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, a fundraiser for Credit Unions for Kids and the Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals.

The 2014 race is scheduled for Sunday, April 6, but runners only have until Friday, Dec. 13, to enter a lottery on the event’s website for the chance to participate. Organizers did away with a first-come, first-served system in 2009 after registration closed in 2 hours and 45 minutes. That year, a rate of 11 entries per second overloaded servers, causing confusion and delays.

This year, there’s no advantage to registering early, because everyone who enters by Dec. 13 will have an equal chance in the lottery. Still, the race to participate comes as no surprise.

The 10-mile race, 5k walk and half-mile kids’ run take place during Washington, D.C.’s peak cherry blossom season, making it one of the most beautiful athletic events in the country. It’s also the kind of event you’ll only find in the nation’s capital: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner are among the honorary race chairs, and last year, more than 900 Capitol Hill staffers — 43 Senate teams and 37 House teams — took part.

(The “Red, White and Blumenauer” team from Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office took top team honors.)

The race is also a major fundraiser for Credit Unions for Kids and the Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals. Since 2002, the Cherry Blossom Run has raised more than $5.5 million for credit unions’ national charity of choice, including more than $515,000 last year alone.

For more information on the run, including lottery details and fundraising opportunities, go to www.cherryblossom.org.


Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Events.