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For Immediate Release


Ryan Lamppa,
PRRO Circuit Media Contact

Yimer Wins, Diriba Defends PRRO Championship presented by Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile

Diriba again earns $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus as PRRO Champion; $14,000 PRRO Championship bonus money awarded; Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K opens the 2018-19 Circuit season on Sunday, May 6

WASHINGTON, DC - On Sunday morning April 8th in the nation's capital under cool, sunny conditions, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile hosted the 2018 PRRO Championship, and Ethiopians Jemal Yimer and Buze Diriba swept the PRRO crowns in 46 minutes, 17 seconds and 53:45, respectively, and each took home $8000 as race winners. The overall event prize purse awarded was $81,400 in Open and American prize money plus bonus money.

With the annual "runner's rite of spring" classic road race presenting the 23rd PRRO Championship, Diriba, 24, who defended her PRRO title won last fall at the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, also earned the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus. Diriba was eligible for the bonus because she won two 2017-18 PRRO Circuit events (last year's Lilac Bloomsday 12K and Pittsburgh 10 Miler). Yimer, 21, won a $2500 bonus as PRRO Champion because he did not win a 2017-18 PRRO Circuit event.

"What a beautiful, ideal day of racing in our nation's capital for the PRRO Championship!" said Don Kardong, Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) Circuit President. "I'm not sure the top runners noticed, but the cherry blossoms along the course were really spectacular."

"Hosting the PRRO Championship certainly created intense interest in the event among elite athletes," added Phil Stewart, Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile race director. "We had our most outstanding professional field in recent memory."

Also at the PRRO Championship, $1500 was paid out in PRRO Event Champion's Bonus money for 2017-18 PRRO Circuit event winners - see Circuit Summary below - who also earned Open prize money in Washington, DC. [NOTE: An athlete who wins the PRRO Super Bonus is not eligible for the PRRO Event Champion's Bonus.]

The $1500 bonus winner:

  • Hiwot Gebrekidan, $1500, female runner-up, 53:48

The 46th event edition also hosted the RRCA 10 Mile National Championship. For complete 2018 race results, go to: cherryblossom.org.

The 2017-18 PRRO Circuit opened with the 45th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile on April 2, 2017. The PRRO Circuit showcases world class competition at 5 classic American road race events shorter than the marathon distance and features more than $340,000 in prize money overall with $119,700 available for U.S. athletes.

PRRO CIRCUIT 2017-18 Summary

45th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, Apr. 2, 2017, Washington, DC
Stanley Kebenei, USA, 46:36
Hiwot Gebrekidan, Ethiopia, 53:37

Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K, May 7, 2017, Spokane, WA
Gabriel Geay, Tanzania, 34:31
Buze Diriba, Ethiopia, 40:19

40th Boilermaker 15K, July 9, 2017, Utica, NY
Silas Kipruto, Kenya, 43:55
Mary Wacera, Kenya, 49:18

5th EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, The 2017 PRRO Championship, Nov. 5, 2017, Pittsburgh, PA
Panuel Mkungo, Kenya, 47:03
Buze Diriba, Ethiopia, 52:11

Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon, February 25, 2018, Tampa, FL
Elkanah Kibet, USA, 1:03:39
Sara Hall, USA, 1:12:01, course record

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, The 2018 PRRO Championship, April 8, 2018, Washington, DC
Jemal Yimer, Ethiopia, 46:17
Buze Diriba, Ethiopia, 53:45

The Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K, on Sunday, May 6 in Spokane, WA, will open the 2018-19 Circuit season, and the iconic U.S. road race will also host the 2019 PRRO Championship.

PRRO Circuit events have produced 17 world and 17 U.S. road records, awarded more than $7.2 million in prize money and seen more than 2.4 million runners cross their finish lines. In addition, since 1996, the PRRO Championship race has paid out more than $1.8 million including $148,500 in PRRO Championship bonus money.

The PRRO Circuit, a long-time pioneer and champion of a clean sport, has funded drug testing at its events since 2006. During the 2016-17 season, USADA conducted more than 50 in-competition tests and an undisclosed number of pre-competition tests.

PRRO Championship and Circuit Year

The PRRO Circuit, launched in 1995, rotates among the PRRO Circuit races with the Circuit Year starting and finishing at the same event. The winners of 2017 PRRO Championship at the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler as well as the event winners on the 2017-18 Circuit served as qualifiers for the PRRO final at the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile.

Visit PRRO.org for more information, including PRRO's history, as well as how to join the PRRO Circuit.

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