Award honors the memory of longtime race volunteer Les Kinion.
Washington, DC: At this year’s pre-race dinner for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, the table was set—in more ways than one. Everyone who gathered for dinner had done their best to prepare for the 47th running of The Runners Rite of Spring®.
A very deep and hungry field of elite runners had trained hard for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile—the only race in our nation’s capital to attract renowned international and American elite athletes including world record holders, Olympic medalists, and American record holders. Race organizing committee members had once again reconfigured the event’s staging area on the Washington Monument Grounds to avoid areas that are being refurbished, just as they had revised and recertified both the Ten Mile and 5K Run-Walk courses to avoid construction on Memorial Bridge and Rock Creek Parkway. And Credit Union dignitaries were excited to share the news of $400,000 having been raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
To top it off, one dedicated race committee member was about to receive the coveted Les Kinion Outstanding Service Award—an award established in 2015 to ensure the memory of Kinion’s outstanding service to the Cherry Blossom Run.
In his presentation remarks, Race Director Phil Stewart said: “Les Kinion was very much at the heart and soul of the Cherry Blossom race committee for over 20 years. He coordinated the screen printing of the t-shirts, packaged and delivered over 150 separate packets for committee members and others, and worked all race weekend long—always with a smile and effusive spirit that rejuvenated even the most tired among us. There wasn’t a single thing that Les wouldn’t do to help out the race.”
Stewart went on to add: “This year’s Kinion Award recipient, Glenn Klenk, has performed myriad tasks during his years of service to the committee—all of them tedious and unglamorous tasks that few, if any other people would seek out—such as t-shirt distribution and signage. Glenn attacks those tasks with an extremely analytical and resolute mindset to make sure they get done effectively, which they certainly do.”
Indeed, Glenn Klenk exemplifies the dedication to service that previous Kinion Award recipients Irv Newman (2015), George Tarrico (2016), Michelle Carter (2017) and Jean Arthur (2018) have been recognized for in years past.
By trade, Les Kinion was a Baltimore fire fighter 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.
The 2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run will mark the 18th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, over $9.5 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals including $400,000 this year.
About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile:
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, organized by Cherry Blossom, Inc., a 501c(3) chapter of the Road Runners Club of America, is known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®” in the Nation’s Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves 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 two $5,000 Road Runners Club of America “Roads Scholar” grants designed to support up-and-coming U.S. distance running talent.
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. The 2019 event marked the 18th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day.
Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers in partnership with CUNA Mutual Group and PSCU, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, 5K Run-Walk and Kids’ Run. Other sponsors include Garmin, the presenting technology sponsor; and supporting sponsors E-Trade, Gatorade, Gold’s Gym, Honey Stinger, Mamma Lucia, MedStar Sports Medicine, ParkMobile, Peet’s Coffee, Potomac River Running, Suburban Solutions, Under Armour and UPS.
The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (PRRO.org), a series of non-marathon prize money road races in Tampa, FL; Washington, DC; Spokane, WA; and Utica, NY. The circuit is committed to a drug-free sport and funds drug testing at all circuit events in compliance with the standards of international and U.S. drug testing authorities.
In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has 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 #CUCB2019.
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 Ten Mile Run promoting awareness of the credit union difference and benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide.
About America’s Credit Unions:
Credit unions 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, low or no-fee products and services. The credit union philosophy of placing members’ needs first is why more than 115 million Americans do their banking at one of America’s 5,500 credit unions. Credit unions are for everyone – no matter where you live, there is a credit union to meet your needs.