Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

( 29 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Washington ,
    District of Columbia,
    United States
  • April
  • 10 miles
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

John Niedzwiecki

Florida, United States
63 18
"Fun Flat Race"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
John Niedzwiecki's thoughts:

The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run is a cool race. Registration is held by a lottery system. You have the ability to register a group together for the lottery, so you can all get in together. You all count as 1 person in the lottery, so it doesn't increase your odds. The cost was uniquely done. They offered their own version of the Progressive Name Your Price gun. Registration was a fixed cost and you were able to add on from there. It was their way of keeping it affordable for anyone. You could choose to upgrade to a tech shirt. Then you could choose to add a medal as well as engraving for your finishing time. I opted for both the upgrade and the medal but no engraving. The shirt was nice but the design was a little lackluster to me. The medal, however, was solid with a great design.

The expo was well done. It was located just off the metro stop, so was easy to get to. The packet pickup was quick and well organized. Pickup was divided into a bunch of groups, keeping lines from forming. After getting your bib, you had to go next to the lower level to pick up your shirt. Again, there was no line, nice and easy. After getting my goodies it was time to browse the expo floor. The expo was an ok size. It wasn't huge, but there was a good mix of vendors. I ended up picking up a pair of sunglasses for a great price. During the expo there were various talks going on. I just missed a talk by Greg Meyer, the current American record holder for the 10 Mile. I did however get to meet him and get an autograph.

The race start was on the National Mall near the Washington Monument, so access via the metro was easy again. If you wanted to drive and park though, I'm not sure how easy it would have been. It was an early morning for me to drive to the metro first and take the train all the way in. I wore an old long sleeve shirt to shed at the start line because it was a little cool. The early trains weren't too busy but later may have been a little more crowded. Bag check was easy, which was surprisingly the first time I ever needed to use it. There were plenty of port-o-pots available, so getting a morning break in wasn't hard. There was a warm up going on at the stage as well, but it was way too active of a warm up for me. I still had to run 10 miles people.

The race was a corral start, but there were only 4 or 5 corrals after the elites started. I also met some nice people to chat while I waited in the last corral. It was also interesting to listen to the announcers commenting on the elites as they ran, as this was the 10 mile championships, so an important race to those up front. The course was really nice. The beginning portion had a fair number of spectators. Early the course went across and back on the Arlington Memorial Bridge, and both side were encouraging the other. There were also volunteers down the middle cheering with cow bells and clackers to help push you on. The course wound down under the Kennedy Center before turning back around again. Then we looped the Tidal Basin. Spread through out were a couple of entertainment options, such as a band playing some music and a drum group. After the basin we looped the peninsula with East Potomac Park. it was nice and flat with a good view over the Potomac at Regan National Airport, but it fell like it was going on forever. Also every step further from the monument meant another step going back. Of course, right at the very end to get from the peninsula to the monument was a hill. Being that close to the end it just make you want to yell "Come on!" but it wasn't actually that bad of a hill. Overall the course was flat, with a good number of water stops. There was only once where I really felt like it had been a while but then within a half mile of that we hit another. The course was pretty, but it wasn't the best time for the blossoms themselves. That I assume it simply hit or miss though. The actual Cherry Blossom Festival is so long for that exact reason as well.

After the race was over it was time to get my medal. I had a little trouble knowing where to go. I had to grab someone who already had one to know where to pick it up as there was no volunteers directing. After receiving my medal I went to grab some food but there was none left. I had seen mounds of bananas before the race but none now. And I was in no way the last runner to cross either. There was only a single table of filled paper cups of Gatorade and water. Not even a single volunteer there anymore, but I guess if there was no food there was no need. This was disappointing because I was starving. I did end up winning a $50 gift certificate form the stage where were giving away stuff like t-shirts and hats, so that made up for it. I didn't stick around for the awards, because I had a metro ride to the end of the line ahead of me and I wanted food.

All in all, I had a great time and will definitely be entering myself in the lottery to run again in the future.

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