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Posted: July 14, 2021:  

(RRW) Athletics: USATF Championships Return to Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile

From David Monti, @d9monti
© 2021 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved.

(14-Jul) -- The one-time fall edition of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on Sunday, September 12, in Washington, D.C., will incorporate the USATF 10 Mile Championships presented by Toyota, event organizers and USA Track & Field announced. The competition, which was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic, was pushed from its traditional early April date to September and will feature a $26,000 prize money purse.

PHOTO: Keira D'Amato winning the 2020 Up Dawg Ten Mile in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C., where she set the USA record for 10 miles in an all-women's race (photo by Karen Mitchell)

"I am anticipating intense interest in the 10 mile championships as top U.S. athletes return to the roads after 18 months of limited opportunities due to COVID-19 and just a few months after being totally focused on the Olympic Track & Field Trials and the Olympic Games," longtime event director Phil Stewart said through a statement. "It should be quite a coming out party."

As in previous editions, there will be separate elite races for men and women. The women's championships division will have an early start 12 minutes ahead of the men making any performances eligible for women-only records. In addition, the women will avoid any potential interference from men as they vie for championships places and will be able to receive more dedicated broadcast coverage.

The Cherry Blossom last hosted the USATF championships for both men and women in 2014. In that race, Janet Bawcom set a national women-only record of 52:12. That mark was improved to 51:23 last November by Keira D'Amato at the special Up Dawg Ten Mile "micro race" in nearby Anacostia Park. D'Amato, who lives just outside of Washington, D.C., in Virginia, plans to race the championships event in September, Stewart said. The first place prize is $5,000 and organizers have put up a $10,000 American record bonus for the championships winners.

The pending American men's record is 45:53 by Galen Rupp, an en route mark set at the Row River Half-Marathon last October in Dorena, Ore. That is the standard the race will use for the $10,000 bonus. The ratified American record is 46:13 by Greg Meyer from the Cherry Blossom in 1983. Dathan Ritzenhein ran a 45:40 10 mile split during the 2016 Great North Run half-marathon in England, but the start/finish separation for that mark exceeded the 50% limit for record-setting.

Interestingly, international elite runners will be part of the field competing for an additional $20,000 in prize money.

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