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CU Cherry Blossom Run lottery begins today
WASHINGTON (12/1/11)--The registration lottery for the 2012 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk begins today at 10 a.m. ET

The lottery runs through11:59 p.m. Dec. 9 and guarantees participants a starting time in the event.

The 40th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom run will take place on April 1.

Entrants will be selected electronically for the Cherry Blossom run after the lottery registration period closes. The results of the selection process for both events will be posted on the event website Dec. 13.

"We first implemented a lottery system for the 2010 event, and found it to be a very fair and straightforward way to deal with the fact that more people want to participate in our races than the streets of Washington, D.C., can accommodate," said Race Director Phil Stewart.

Last year, about 30,000 runners applied for spots on the starting line.

The organizers announced a new policy that will guarantee entries to runners who applied but were not selected to participate via the lottery in 2010 and 2011. Eligible runners have been notified and have until Nov. 30 to register. In addition, "streakers"--individuals who completed the race 10 or more times--are eligible for guaranteed entries.

Runners who raise $500 or more for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals via Credit Unions for Kids, the official event charity, also can secure a guaranteed spot on the starting line.

The Credit Union National Association, credit unions and affiliated organizations are sponsors of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, which has raised over $5 million in 10 years for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. If an organization sponsors the event, it can obtain guaranteed race entry slots at the prevailing rate, bypassing the lottery system. To become a sponsor, visit www.miracleday.org.

Also new this year: An all-time searchable database containing information about every finisher in the race since 1973, and the addition of two "social" runners, who will share their pre-race training experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

The race staging area will be on the Washington Monument grounds, and the course will trace its traditional route past Washington's cherry blossom trees. The race headquarters hotel is located at the Westin Washington DC City Center Hotel.

This year's event takes place on the second weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a five-week celebration of sporting and cultural events that commemorates the blossoming of the trees donated to the U.S. by Japan in the early 20th century.
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