Cherry Blossom races go virtual; raise funds for those impacted by coronavirus

Runners gather before the start of the 42nd annual Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in 2014. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart, file)
The Cherry Blossom 10-mile and 5K races are virtual this year. One credit union is using that as an opportunity to give back to those having financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

While runners aren’t racing through downtown D.C. as part of the Cherry Blossom ten miler this year, the race is still going on in local neighborhoods.

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom free virtual run is open to everyone who was registered to run in the race that was set to happen Sunday.

Runners or walkers will run the same distance as the event they originally registered for, submit their time online and upload pictures before midnight on Sunday.

Runners who want to complete the distance indoors on a treadmill can even download an app for their tablet which will allow them to virtually run the course at a pace of their choosing.

Ben Beach used the virtual run to keep his streak of running the 10-miler alive going back to the inaugural race in 1973.

For PenFed Credit Union, they decided to use it as an opportunity to give back to those hit financially by the coronavirus outbreak.

PenFed sends employees to the run every year and this year, they’ve decided to cover their entry fees as well as donate $100 per runner to help support their COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Fund.

For those who registered for the Cherry Blossom ten miler and 5K, the free virtual race is ongoing until midnight on Sunday.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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