Category Archives: General

Bring Some Good Luck to Your Race

Good Luck Box is teaming up with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to bring you an extra shot of luck the week before the race. What is a Good Luck Box? It’s a selection of handpicked items from running experts to give you the edge before, during, and after an upcoming race. Boxes are tailored to the recipient and their race. In the case of the Cherry Blossom box, the contents will be specially chosen with a cherry blossom theme. Continue reading Bring Some Good Luck to Your Race

Spring Fever!

Can you believe that the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is just four weeks away? It’s been a long, cold winter, but spring is coming, and the cherry blossoms won’t be far behind. In fact, the National Park Service announced its prediction for the peak bloom dates, and they fall right around race day!

Hains Point Cherry Blossoms

I’ve always struggled with the Hains Point portion of the course, but if the trees look like this on race day, I think they would lift my spirits!

The spring weather is a reminder to start thinking about what you want to wear on race day. The race shirt design is fantastic, but it may not be the best option. First, you shouldn’t wear something new on race day. Second, some runners think it’s bad luck (or bad form?) to wear a race shirt until you’ve actually finished. Perhaps most importantly,  because a lot of people will wear the race shirt, wearing it yourself will make it hard for your friends, family and fans to pick you out and cheer you on!

It’s usually 40-50 °F at race time, which I consider perfect for running. It can feel pretty chilly before the start, though, so I like to dress in layers, wearing a t-shirt and shorts under a throw-away sweatshirt and sweatpants I can leave at the starting line. Arm warmers are another popular option, and are much easier to take off mid-race than a long-sleeve shirt or jacket! I usually race in compression socks or sleeves, and already have a pair in cherry blossom pink!  A hat and sun glasses are other essentials that are easy to forget when you head out at dawn.

If you need more help figuring out what to wear, our sponsors Potomac River Running and New Balance have lots of good ideas and great options for race day gear.

~ Courtenay
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram and check out my blog, Running With Perseverance

Are you ready for spring?

How is your training going?

Lottery MFAQ

QsToday is the first day of the 2015 CUCB entry lottery! The first year that I managed the CUCB twitter and facebook pages I felt like I was asking the race committee a million questions, all day long, from Fall Kickoff through the day the finish times became official. Going into my third year, I’ve learned the ropes and am starting to predict (with surprising accuracy!) just what the very Most Frequently Asked Questions (MFAQ) will be for each event leading up to the race. I’ve shared my predictions for the lottery MFAQ below. Did I guess yours? If not, we may have it on the full lottery FAQ. If I did, I’d love to know about it in the comments!

Molly’s Prediction for Top Five Lottery Questions:

1. Does my credit card get charged when I enter the lottery or when I am selected?

Answer: your credit card does not get charged when you enter the lottery, only if you are selected to run the 2015 CUCB.

2. What do the tech tee upgrade and medal look like?

Answer: The medal design is top secret until race day, but we can tell you that the tech tee upgrades are going to be white, v-neck New Balance shirts featuring Abby Matousek’s winning design.

3. Are my odds better or worse if I enter as a group instead of an individual?

Answer: They are exactly the same. If you ONLY want to run the race if certain others are selected with you, a group entry is the way to go. If you all would run with or without each other it’s probably better to enter as individuals and try to get a bib transfer in February or sign up as a charity runner with Credit Union Miracle Day for anyone who wasn’t selected.

4. When will I know if I’m selected for the 2015 CUCB?

Answer: The Tuesday after the lottery closes, December 16, we will know who the 2015 CUCB runners are!

5. What can I do if I don’t get selected?

Answer: you could enter the race as a charity runner, you could post a message on our bib transfer forum in February, or you could help us out as a volunteer on race day. We are always in need of more race day volunteers, and to thank you for spending your morning with us you receive a long-sleeve cotton tee featuring Abby’s design, a guaranteed entry at the prevailing entry fee into our 2016 race, and (most importantly) good running karma!

Good luck to all of you who are entering the lottery this week – I look forward to cheering many of you on at the finish line on April 12, 2015!

Celebrate Giving Tuesday With Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Did you know that Tuesday, December 2, 2014 has been designated as Giving Tuesday? Now that we’ve taken time to give thanks for all we have on Thanksgiving, shopped for holiday gift deals on Black Friday, and rounded out our holiday shopping on Cyber Monday, it’s a good time to tap into our generosity and give to those who are less fortunate. Over here at the CUCB blog, we are supporting the charities associated with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run–won’t you join us by donating to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? (Click Here To Donate!)


The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is the signature event of Credit Union Miracle Day, which is a nonprofit collaboration of credit union organizations engaged in fundraising activities to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). If you live in the D.C. area, you probably are familiar with Children’s National Medical Center, which is the local CMN Hospital affiliate. There are 136 children’s hospitals affiliated with the CMNH in the United States, and they treat over 10 million children annually across the U.S., providing state-of-the-art care‚ cutting edge research and preventative health education. Several members of the CUCB Social Runners team have had friends and family members cared for at CMN Hospitals, and know first hand the quaility of care they provide.


Credit Unions For Kids is the umbrella brand through which credit unions and affiliated organizations support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

When you donate to support CMN Hospitals, you help local CMN Hospitals provide
 $6,500 in charity care every minute to help save kids’ lives. Does that sound impossible?

Every hour, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat 675 kids in the ER; 39 kids for diabetes; 92 kids for cancer;39 babies in the newborn ICU; and 97 kids for surgeries.

Every day, Every day, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat 16,000 kids in the ER, 935 kids for diabetes, 2,218 kids for cancer, 925 babies in the newborn ICU, and 2,329 kids for surgeries.

This year is the thirteenth year that credit unions have sponsored the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in support of Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, with over $6 million donated for children’s hospitals during this time!

Please join us in celebrating Giving Tuesday by donating to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals here. Please also consider supporting other Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run charities: Teens Run DC and the RRCA Rhoads Scholars program.

Have you entered the lottery for the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run?

Do you know anyone who was cared for at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital?

2014 Expo Clinic Schedule

We’re so excited to finally meet those of you we’ve been tweeting, blogging, pinning, and Facebooking with for the last few months!

In addition to our 5 PM – 8 PM Packet Pickup Happy Hour on Friday, we have more fun events at the Expo this weekend that with think you might want to know about:

Clinic Schedule at the Expo


4 PM – 4:50 PM Greg Meyer, 1983 Cherry Blossom Champion; current American record holder for 10 Miles (46:13) and 1983 Boston Marathon champion. Come hear Greg talk about how it’s time for a U.S. male runner to break his 31-year-old mark.

4:50 PM – 5 PM Stretch break

5 PM – 5:50 PM Jen Rhines, Three time U.S. Olympian at 5,000-meters, 10,000-meters and the marathon.

5:50 PM – 6 PM Stretch break

6 PM – 6:50 PM Dr. Betty Smith, Learn the secrets of longevity from our speaker who is an ultra-marathoner and top age group perfomer. She has been running for 46 years and has covered more than 100,000 miles with minimal injuries.


10 AM – 10:50 A.M. Greg Meyer, 1983 Cherry Blossom Champion; current American record holder for 10 Miles (46:13) and 1983 Boston Marathon champion. Come hear Greg talk about how it’s time for a U.S. male runner to break his 31-year-old mark.

10:50 AM – 11 AM Stretch break

11 AM – 11:50 A.M. CPR Overview, Come hear the essentials about performing CPR. This is not certification, but an explanation of how to administer this life saving technique.

11:50 AM – 12 Noon Stretch break

12 PM – 12:50 PM Janet Bawcom, 2012 U.S. Olympian, American Recordholder for 10 miles in a single sex race.

12:50 PM – 1 PM Stretch break

1 PM – 1:50 PM American Championships Panel, Learn about the rising fortunes of American distance running in a roundtable discussion with six entrants in the U.S. 10 Mile Championships

1:50 PM – 2 PM Stretch break

2 PM – 2:50 PM CPR Overview, Come see the essentials about performing CPR. This is not certification, but an explanation of how to administer this life saving technique.

2:50 PM – 3 PM Stretch break

3 PM – 3:50 PM Dr. Betty Smith, Learn the secrets of longevity from our speaker who is an ultra-marathoner and top age group perfomer. She has been running for 46 years and has covered more than 100,000 miles with minimal injuries.

Autographs (at the Credit Union booth)
Friday April 4

3 PM – 4 PM – Greg Meyer

4 PM – 4:50 PM – Jen Rhines

Saturday, April 5

11 AM – 12 Noon – Greg Meyer

1 PM – 2 PM – Janet Bawcom

2014 Expo Booth List

One section of the 2013 CUCB Expo
One section of the 2013 CUCB Expo

This is it, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the final Expo booth list is ready! Here’s who you can expect to see at the Building Museum from 3pm – 9pm on Friday, April 4 and 9am – 5pm on Saturday, April 5:

Auria LLC
Beyond Body Pads
Bondi Band
Bushido Challenge – Obstacle Race
Charm City Run
Rock n Roll Marathon Series
Corrigan Sports Enterprises
Credit Union Miracle Day/Children’s Miracle Network
Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union
Dogs on Deployment
Elite Sport Optics
Feet First Sports
Fleet Feet Sports Annapolis
Gold’s Gym
Hoka One One
ID Life
In the Zone
ING Financial Partners
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Magic Massage Therapy
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Cherry Blosoom Festival
National Running Center
Navy –  Air ForceHalf Marathon & Navy 5 Miler
Navy Federal Credit Union
New Balance
NYRR Team for Kids
One More Mile
Paiges Promotions for Wyndham
Potomac River Running
Ragnor Trail Relay
Real Time Pain Relief
Reverb Wireless
RUseeN Reflective Apparel
Small Planet Food
Sole Charming
Sparkly Soul
Sport Science
Sweatwear Plus
Sweaty Bands
Team Z
Teens Run DC
The RooSport
The Stick (RPI)
Timex/Nova Retail LLC
Uber Technology
Ultima Health Products
University of Maryland
USA Sport Eyeware
Vibrant Health
Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon
Zooma Women’s Race Series

For full Expo information, visit our website.

Time to Care: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Today’s post is from guest blogger Terry Orzechowski, Executive Director of Patient Experience and Ombudsman at Children’s National Medical Center.

Eighteen years ago, I came home from work on a summer day to find my oldest son, Daniel, complaining of chest pains. He said he felt like his heart was beating too fast. I placed my hand on his chest and found it was racing. He was seventeen years old.

I didn’t even call 911. Immediately I put him in the car and drove as fast as I could to the emergency room at Children’s National Medical Center. They had him in a bed and working on him within three minutes of our arrival. The emergency room staff allowed me to stay with Daniel until they needed to shock his heart to stabilize the rhythm, before transferring him to intensive care for further treatment. They directed me to the waiting room then.
As Daniel’s heart raced, so did my mind. My husband had just boarded a plane for business travel and had no idea what was going on. Our younger son and daughter were still at the pool and would also need to be informed, without worrying them. As I waited and worried about my son, a resident who had been in the room as Daniel was treated joined me in the waiting room. He said he knew this was scary. He said he’d sit with me until the doctors came out. I can’t remember his name, but I’ll never forget that he took time to be there with me.

Daniel was found to have Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition present from birth that leads to increased heart rhythms. Although his case was challenging, his treatment worked well. He had a cardiac ablation, a catheterization process, and didn’t require a pacemaker or medication to keep the rhythm steady.

Daniel also had understanding doctors who worked with him that summer to monitor his heart, keeping in mind they were dealing with a teenage boy. Dan was about to enter his junior year in high school. No one that age wants to walk around with anything indicating they have a medical condition. Dr. (Jeffrey) Moak worked with him about the timing for wearing a heart monitor. He and all the staff at the hospital really treated my son with respect.

Today, Daniel is 35 years old and well, with two sons of his own.

Our experience at Children’s had a profound impact on me. So did subsequent trips to the hospital for my younger son to be treated for asthma and an immune deficiency. I wondered if I could ever be lucky enough to work for Children’s. A couple of years later, I opened up the classified ads and job listings and spotted the Children’s logo right away. I eagerly applied to be director of volunteers at the hospital, and was hired for the job. Fifteen years later, I’m now Executive Director of Patient Experience and Ombudsman.
I’ve been a parent sitting in the waiting room, waiting for test results to find out what’s wrong with my child. That’s always on my mind as I encounter other parents who bring their children to the hospital.

The experience of how parents and their children are treated at Children’s is equal to the quality of the medical treatment they receive. And that makes such a difference. They care what we know, but they also care that we care.

Daniel today, healthy and happy with his wife and two sons.
Daniel today, healthy and happy with his wife and two sons.

Become an online fundraiser and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as a Credit Union Cherry Blossom runner! 


Go Green at CUCB!

volunteer with recycling sign
Go green!

It’s that time again and everyone is thinking green!  Whether it’s adding an Irish folk song to your running playlist or carbo-loading with a Guinness we’re all thinking a little greener this week.

With the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile three weeks away the Greening Team will be constantly thinking green… even if it is in a slightly different sense of the word.  We know that what we do today will have lasting effects far into the future.  While we’ve made it a goal to find innovative ways to reduce reuse and recycle wherever possible, we still need your help.

So here are some easy ways to go green on race weekend:

  • Bring your own water bottle. Not only will this be environmentally conscience but you’ll be able to fly by the water stops on the course.
water bottle recycling
Recycle those empties or bring your own! 
  • Recycle water bottles and plastic wrappers. We understand that it’s not always easy to bring your own water bottle, so if you do take a water bottle at the end of the course please recycle.  Also, once you’re done with your delicious Larabar snacks those wrappers are recyclable too. We’ll have an ample amount of recycle bins and volunteers to help you dispose of your empty water bottle and other plastic wrappers. Did you know that the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years? It can take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade!
recycle bin
Recycle that wrapper!
  • Recycle Heat sheets. Because the spring weather is so unpredictable this year we will be providing heat sheets to our runners, so if you do take a heat sheet at the end of the course please recycle.  We’ll have an ample amount of recycle bins and volunteers to help you dispose of your used heat sheet.
Compost bins, like minions, love bananas.
  • Compost left-over food, especially banana peels. We don’t want to have any unfortunate accidents with runners slipping on banana peels!  Did you know that composting helps prevent pollution? Composting organic materials that have been diverted from landfills avoids the production of methane and leachate formulation in the landfills.  From a global warming point of view a given amount of methane is 23 times more threatening as a greenhouse gas than the same amount of carbon dioxide. So if food waste can be kept out of a landfill by composting it instead, our environment benefits!
  • Donate old shoes and clothing. It’s always a bit chilly on race morning, so don your old crazy sweats to keep you warm (you know, that rouge sweatshirt from the college you didn’t even go to!).  As you begin your race leave the discarded clothing at the side of the corral.  We’ll be collecting everything to donate to a local charity after the race.

We are working with the National Park Service, who manages National Mall and Memorial Parks (where you are running!) to really focus on environmental sustainability efforts during our events. We want to preserve the grounds we run on so that future runners and visitors can keep enjoying the monuments and cherry blossoms for decades to come.

Your number one job is to have fun and run your best race possible!  Our job is to make the race safe, fun and enjoyable for runners and spectators.  It is all of our responsibilities to work together to help preserve the environment and  ensure that many more runners get to experience the same great race in the same beautiful space in the nation’s capital.

-The Greening Team

Read more about the environmental initiatives of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile.

Running Isn’t Complicated

Hal Higdon once said, “Running is easy. Other than walking, it is the simplest sport. Sometimes we overthink running and make it more complicated than need be.”

I couldn’t agree more. Running is easy. Nothing beats hitting the road or trail and getting lost in the motion of running. It’s great to shut off the mind for a bit and simply enjoy the flow of running. Yet, it’s hard for me to ignore that we (including myself) sometimes find ways to make running complicated.

“Should I give those Vibram Five Fingers a go?”

“I see some runners wearing compression sleeves, should I?”

“Should I stretch before I run?.. during?… after?… at all?”

“VO2 what?”

“Will training with a heart rate monitor enhance my performance?”

These are just some of the questions I hear and read. Do I think they are valid? Certainly. Do they need to be in the forefront of our minds? Not always. We need to remember that all running takes is putting one foot in front of the other. That’s it. It’s that simple foundation that makes running so beautiful. I found that the less I think about all the little intricacies of running, the more I enjoy it.

Yes, there is a time and place to run against a certain standard (e.g., race pace runs, speedwork, hill repeats, the looooooooong run, etc…). But, every now and again, leave the running watch at home. Run at whatever pace you desire. Let the roads and paths lead you. Enjoy running for the simple art it is.

Running isn’t complicated…unless you choose to make it.

~Doug, @DougCassaro

Doug started running in 2007 and is a RRCA-Certified Running Coach and proud coach for DC Road Runners. He lives in the Washington, DC metro area and works for the Federal Aviation Administration. He’s the chapter coordinator the Medals4Mettle Washington, DC Chapter, which collects finisher medals donated by runners and gifts them to children and adults dealing with chronic or debilitating illnesses.

Running Superstitions

Pink and Blue CloverWe’re several days into  the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run lottery, and are crossing our laces for everyone tweeting us and commenting on Facebook to get selected for this year’s race!

There are 4 runners (and many 2013 volunteers and charity runners!) who do not have to rely on luck to get into this year’s CUCB: our 2 social runners, Doug and Francine, and (for the first time ever!) our two blog contributors, Jenny and Courtenay.

We’re pleased to introduce them to those of you who haven’t already “met” them online, and to share their responses to the question “Are you superstitious?”


Jenny is a mom, wife, avid weight lifter, and runner living and working in Central PA who blogs at

Is she superstitious?

If you had asked me BEFORE I started running, I would have said no. But I am when it comes to races! I never wear my race shirt until I’ve completed the race, and I always wear the same pair of “lucky” sunglasses when running!

Courtenay is an attorney, wife, mom (empty-nester) and runner in Alexandria, Virginia, who blogs at “Running With Perseverance,”

Is she superstitious?

I don’t think of myself as being superstitious, but when I am at the mercy of the luck of the draw, I probably do cross my fingers, think positive thoughts, and say a quick prayer! That approach has worked for me with the CUCB, since I was lucky enough to get in through the lottery for the past two years. So, fingers crossed…

Social Runners

Francine works in banking, is the mother of 2 boys, and a runner in Delaware, who blogs at

Is she superstitious?

I am superstitious.  I cross my fingers before I hit enter on any lottery race.  Good luck and cross those fingers! 

Doug is a runner and parallel parking champ from Washington, DC who blogs at

Is he superstitious?

I do not have any superstitions but I believe in good fortune.