50th Annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Festivities Include Hall of Fame Recognition for Gar Williams, Jeff Darman and Irv Newman

April 2, 2023

Rob Wolfe and Steve Broyles announced as co-recipients of the 2023 Les Kinion Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.

Washington, DC /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Among the many special elements of this weekend’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom (CUCB) 50th anniversary celebrations, the announcement of the inaugural CUCB Hall of Fame was clearly a highlight of the pre-race dinner for elite athletes, race committee members, and Credit Union Miracle Day partners. And, as it has been since 2015, the announcement of this year’s winners of the Les Kinion Outstanding Service Award was just as eagerly anticipated.

In his remarks preceding the Hall of Fame induction, event director Phil Stewart offered these thoughts: “Our goal is to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the race at any time over the last 50 years. These ‘contributions’ can come in a variety of ways – the individual could be a distinguished competitor, committee member, staff member, sponsor representative, member of the media or just about any other category you can think of. The bottom line is this person’s impact on the race at the time he or she was involved was truly significant.”

Inductees into the Hall of Fame included: Gar Williams, one of the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile’s founders and co-director of the 1973 race; Jeff Darman, who took over as co-race director in 1974 and served until 1991 in either a solo or co-race director capacity; and Irv Newman, who has worn many CUCB hats in the past 20+ years, most notably as Board President from 2014-2022.

While the annual announcement of CUCB Hall of Fame inductees will now become a fixture of the pre-race dinner, awarding the Les Kinion Outstanding Volunteer Service Award has been an essential component of the evening’s agenda since 2015.

Rob Wolfe and Steve Broyles were announced as co-recipients of the 2023 Les Kinion Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. Rob wears many race committee hats, from Cherry Blossom, Inc. Treasurer to starting line corrals coordinator of the 10 Mile and the Kids Run. Steve has just worn one hat, but he’s worn it for 29 years! As the leader of the course recording team, which plays a vital role in confirming the presence of elite athletes on course throughout the race — no shortcuts allowed — Steve has led numerous innovations in the reporting process, all intended to streamline the verification work of the official judges back at the finish line.

“Rob and Steve have provided outstanding service to the race but in very different manners,” said event director Phil Stewart. “Rob is the ringmaster of the roadway who gets 17,000 runners lined up for the 10 Mile and 500 4-10 year-olds in order at the start of the Kids Run, while Steve almost clandestinely and meticulously coordinates a team of course-recorders from multiple locations on the course and hopes he has nothing to report. As co-winners of the Les Kinion Award, they illustrate the wide variety of roles involved in producing the race.”

The Les Kinion Award was established in honor of Les Kinion, a Baltimore firefighter with Engine Company 43. By passion, he was first a runner and then a running club officer and race director. In 1970, Les co-founded the Baltimore Road Runners Club, one of the earliest chapters of the Road Runners Club of America. In 1973 he helped launch the first Maryland Marathon. After retiring in 1986, Les moved to Bishopville, MD, and worked on hundreds of races on the Maryland-Delaware Coast. He became involved with the Cherry Blossom Run in the early 1990s, and was active until he passed away in July 2014 at the age of 78.

Past recipients of the Les Kinion Award include: Irv Newman, George Tarrico, Michelle Carter, Jean Arthur, Glenn Klenk, Nita Lalla Roncone, Marsha Way, and Danny Talmage. Press releases about each year’s award recipient can be found in the archives.

About Credit Union Cherry Blossom:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom races, organized by Cherry Blossom, Inc., a 501c(3) chapter of the Road Runners Club of America, are known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®” in the Nation’s Capital. The staging area for Sunday’s 10 Mile is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. In 2023, the reimagined Saturday 5K will stage on Freedom Plaza and traverse the route of Presidential Inaugurations down Pennsylvania Avenue before crossing the National Mall in the shadow of the Capitol Building and returning by the same route. The Kids Run is staged on the grounds of the National Building Museum. All events serve as a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier children’s hospitals across North America. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, DC’s own Children’s National (“Children’s Hospital”). The event also funds the Road Runners Club of America’s “Roads Scholar” program designed to support up-and-coming U.S. distance running talent.

Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, 5K, Kids Run and Virtual Run. Current presenting sponsors include ASICS, REI Co-op and Wegmans; supporting sponsors include CACI, Co-op Solutions, CUNA Mutual Group, Gatorade Endurance, Guayaki, MedStar Health, Outside+, PSCU, Potomac River Running, Suburban Solutions, The MO Apartments and UPS.

The 10 Mile is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (PRRO.org), a series of this country’s classic non-marathon prize money road races with circuit stops in Washington, DC; Spokane, WA; and Utica, NY. The 2023 10 Mile will serve as the 2022-2023 PRRO Championship.

In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom races have earned Gold Level Inspire Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport in recognition of its legacy of commitment to sustainability and thoughtful resource management.

To learn more, visit www.cherryblossom.org and follow the event on social media @CUCB and #CUCB2023.

About Credit Union Miracle Day:

Credit Union Miracle Day is a partnership of over 100 credit unions, CUSOs and partner organizations united to sponsor the Credit Union Cherry Blossom races, promoting awareness of the credit union difference and benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide.

Thanks to credit union title sponsorship since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has raised over $10.6 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $450,00 this year.

About America’s Credit Unions:

Credit unions are financial cooperatives that provide consumers choices for financial services such as checking accounts, investments and loans of all kinds, including mortgages. Funds are federally insured, but unlike banks, there are no stockholders at credit unions. Earnings are returned to member-owners in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and low or no-fee products and services. The credit union philosophy of placing members’ needs first is why more than 131 million Americans do their banking at a credit union.

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