Wanjiru Sets New 10 Mile All-Comers Record; Yimer Repeats, Kebenei Gets USA Record

By Clay Shaw

WASHINGTON, DC, APRIL 6, 2019—Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya led nearly the entire Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia was right on Wanjiru’s heels for nearly the entire race, which seemed to annoy Wanjiru at times.  With 600 yards to go Wanjiru turned on the jets to pull away on the two slight inclines before the final turn and downhill finish. Wanjiru, setting a new course record, and fastest 10-mile time ever in a women’s only race on US soil, timed in 50:42.  Gebreslase ran 50:47, in the classic Kenya-Ethiopia duel.  Margaret Muriuki of Kenya was third in 51:38, despite running the Cooper River Bridge 10K in SC the day before.

Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho, who led the huge pack down Independence Avenue, was first USA and 6th overall in 52:18. Bates just missed Janet Cherobon’s record by five seconds.

Jemel Yimer of Ethiopia was the repeat champion in 45:36, after unleashing a kick with 100 yards to go.  Josphat Tanui of Kenya was a close second in 45:38. Edwin Kibichy of Kenya was 3rd in 45:58, as he held off a hard-charging Stanley Kebenei of Colorado Springs, Colorado who took fourth in a new USA record of 46:00.  Kebenei was quite elated with the record, and had expressed a desire to “go for it”, when I spoke with him earlier this year.  The old mark was set in 1983 by Greg Meyer of Michigan.   Kebenei called Meyer afterward to tell him, as Meyer had expressed amazement that his USA record had stood since 1983.  Twenty-four men broke 50 minutes and 41 women broke 60 minutes on an ideal running day.

Perry Shoemaker of Vienna, VA was top Master among women in 57:29, placing 28th overall.  Deena Kastor of Mammoth Lakes, CA was second Master and 37th, in 59:15 and was greeting and congratulating many finishers afterwards.  David Wertz of Springfield, VA led the male Masters in 53:16, placing 43rd.  The famed ultra-marathoner, Michael Wardian of Arlington,VA, was 45th and second Master in 53:28.  Wardian who recently ran across the country of Israel, continues to run fast and often.

The RRCA Roads Scholar Run Pro Camp Development Awards went to Futsum Zienasellassie of Flagstaff, AZ (46:57), Reed Fischer of Boulder, CO (47:03), and Willie Milam of Boulder, CO (47:07).  The women’s winners were Emma Bates of Boise, ID (52:18), Samantha Palmer of Northport, AL (53:44), and Katy Jermann of Burnsville, MN (54:03).

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom has been run for 47 years.  Ben Beach (age 69) of Bethesda, Maryland has run all of them, and heads to Boston to run his 53rd consecutive Boston Marathon.  The 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run marks the 18th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day, raising over $9.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 2002.  17,393 runners finished the 10 miler, and also included a companion 5K. 


Several days after the event, this information was released: Organizers of the 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, run last Sunday, April 7 in our Nation’s Capital, announced today that a semi-circle of cones on the revised course marking the turn-around point on Ohio Drive on an out-and-back segment between miles three and four had been misplaced. The net effect of that was to shorten the 10-mile course by 240 feet, negating the apparent American record time run of 46:00 run by Stanley Kebenei.

Despite the shortened route taken by the runners, race organizers will go ahead and pay Kebenei the $10,000 record bonus for posting a time faster than Greg Meyer’s American record of 46:13, set here in 1983. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run also pays $1,000 and $750 each year to the first two men and women who run times better than 46:00 and 52:00 minutes, respectively. Race winners Jemal Yimer (45:36) and Rosemary Wanjiru, (50:42) and second place finishers Josphat Tanui (45:38) and Gotytom Gebreslase (50:47) will be paid those time bonuses; their times were well under the established time bonus benchmarks.

Event Director Phil Stewart said, “The organizers profoundly regret this unfortunate error in an event which for 47 years has prided itself in organizational excellence and support for elite athletes as well as the masses of runners who follow them. We have taken every step possible to make our bonus winners whole again. Clearly this is not the ending we wanted to an outstanding weekend with perfect running conditions, nearly $100,000 in prize money and bonuses paid out, and $400,000 raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”

Due to road construction, the course for this year’s race had to be adjusted just a few weeks before the date of the event.  The revised course was then measured and certified in accordance with international course measurement standards, and record times would have been valid if the course was run as measured. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Later analysis showed that the turn-around on Ohio Drive in West Potomac Park had been misplaced on race morning.  Sadly, an application for recognition of Kebenei’s effort being an American record will not be submitted to USATF. Rosemary Wanjiru also ran an apparent record—fastest U.S. all-comers time in a women’s only race—which will also go unrecognized, even though she finished one minute and two seconds faster than the time of 51:44, set here in 2007 by Tebya Erkesso. Race organizers do not offer a bonus for U.S. all-comers records.  Wanjiru’s time will not be considered as Credit Union Cherry Blossom women’s event record, leaving intact Colleen DeReuck’s time of 51:16 as the standard.

Top 25 Men

  1.    45:36  Jemal Yimer     ETH
  2.    45:38  Josphat Tanui     KEN
  3.    45:58  Edwin Kibichiy     KEN
  4.    46:00  Stanley Kebenei     CO
  5.    46:55  Stephen Sambu     KEN
  6.    46:57  Futsum Zienasellassie     AZ
  7.    47:03  Reed Fischer     CO
  8.    47:07  Willie Milam     CO
  9.    47:26  Kiya Dandena     AZ
  10.    47:38  Louis Serafini     MA
  11.    47:40  Tim Young     VA
  12.    47:49  Alfred Barkach     KEN
  13.    47:54  Josh Izewski     NC
  14.    48:06  Mohamed Hrezi     LBY
  15.    48:19  Haron Lagat     CO
  16.    48:21  Mark Leininger     NJ
  17.    48:22  Tyler Jermann     MN
  18.    48:24  Birhanu Dare     ETH
  19.    48:25  Danny Docherty     MN
  20.    48:30  Scott Smith     AZ
  21.    49:16  Caleb Kerr     IN
  22.    49:21  Evan Gaynor     OH
  23.    49:45  Clint McKelvey     VA
  24.    49:51  Pardon Ndhlovu     ZIM
  25.     50:06  Ambros Bore     KEN

Top 25 Women

  1.    50:42  Rosemary Wanjiru     KEN
  2.    50:47  Gotytom Gebreslase     ETH
  3.    51:38  Margaret Muriuki     KEN
  4.    51:57  Hiwot Ayalew Yimer     ETH
  5.    52:08  Vicoty Chepngeno     KEN
  6.    52:18  Emma Bates     ID
  7.    52:29  Hiwot Gebrekidan     ETH
  8.    52:58  Stephanie Twell     GBR
  9.    53:21  Iveen Chepkemoi     KEN
  10.    53:40  Bethany Sachtleben     VA
  11.    53:44  Samantha Palmer     AL
  12.    54:03  Katy Jermann     MN
  13.    54:32  Alexis Zeis     CO
  14.    54:35  Grayson Murphy     AZ
  15.    54:53  Mary Wangui     KEN
  16.    55:34  Allison Cleaver     TX
  17.    55:38  Maddie Van Beek     ND
  18.    55:39  Kelsey Bruce     TX
  19.    56:23  Meghan Peyton     MN
  20.    56:26  Amanda Marino     NJ
  21.    56:30  Julia Roman-Duval     MD
  22.    57:05  Allie Schaich     TX
  23.    57:07  Lauren Masterson     CO
  24.    57:10  Alexandra Cadicamo     NY
  25.    57:19  Hiruni Wijayaratne     SRI
Stanley Kebenei of Colorado Springs, Co. is a happy man after setting a new American 10 Mile Record in 46:00. He broke the record that was set by the 1983 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race winner, Greg Meyer of Michigan. Stanley, who won overall in 2016, placed 4th with his new USA record.
The Elite Women are off at 7:18AM, on a clear, crisp, ideal for running fast morning. Rosemary Wanjiru (at far right) would win and set a new 10-mile record at an all-women’s race on US soil. Wanjiru’s new mark is 50:42.
Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho leads the women’s elite field at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 mile run. Bates was first USA, and is followed by Samantha Palmer, winner Rosemary Wanjiru #6, Iveen Chepkemoi #10, and Stephanie Twell #22 of GBR.
Hoyt inspired athletes in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race.
Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia chases Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya on Hains Point. Both women would break 51 minutes.
Rosemary Wanjiku #6 of Kenya lead most of the race. Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia followed closely, until Wanjiru kicked with 500 yards to go, to win by five seconds (50:42, to 50:47).
Stephanie Twell of Great Britain placed 8th in 52:58.
Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho finishes 6th and 1st USA in 52:18.
Loud rythamic drummers on Hains Point during the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.
Julia Roman-Duval of Columbia, Maryland preps for the London Marathon with a 56:30, good for 21st place.
Alexis Zeis of Boulder, Colorado finishes in 13th, 5th USA in 54:32.
Perry Shoemaker of Vienna, VA is the first master, and 28th overall. Joanna Thompson of Blowing Rock, NC placed 29th. Shoemaker ran 57:29, which age graded to .9430 (only topped by the first six overall).
Silvia Baage of Rockville, Maryland , the 2017 Baltimore Marathon winner finishes under an hour, in 59:34.
Perry Shoemaker of Vienna, VA is first master, and 28th overall in 57:29.
Deena Kastor ran 59:15, then stayed around to warmly greet other fast finishers like Maura Carroll of Arlington, VA. Kastor was second master.
Lead men and the Washington Monument.
Stanley Kebenei #17, Alfred Barkach #15, Jemal Yimer #1, Stephen Sambu, and Josphat Tanui #5 lead the way in DC.
Josphat Tanui #5 and Jemal Yimer #1 pass mile 8 together. Yimer won by just two seconds.
Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia wins the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run for the second year in a row. His offical time was 45:36.
Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia, and Josphat Tanui of Kenya duel in front, as they catch and pass some of the elite women.
Josphat Tanui of Kenya, is all-out on home stretch, finishing second overall by two second. Notice the Run Czech kit.
Futsum Zienasellassie of Flagstaff, AZ is 6th overall, and 1st RRCA-Run Pro athlete.
Michael Wardian of Arlington, Virginia finishes in 53:28. The famed ultra-marathoner was second master. Michael recently ran across Israel.
Liam O’Donnell #572 of Washington, DC leads a group of men just under 63 minutes.
Jeremy Dovin of Narvon, PA, age 15 finishes in 59:11.
Scott Osdras of Arlington, VA, did a pretty good time for a costume, Bay to Breakers in next month.
Since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk have raised over $9.5 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, with $400,000 of that total being raised this year.
Phil Stewart presents Ben Beach with #47. Beach ran his 47th Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.
Race Director Phil Stewart presents Glenn Klenk, the sign maker, with the 2019 Les Kinion Award at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run pre-race dinner.
Lead men pass the Lincoln Monument in the first mile of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.

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