As a local, I have run the Cherry Blossom several times. The weather at this time of year in DC can vary, but the 2015 weather was just about perfect, while the cherry blossoms were at their peak. It's important to know that Washington DC is going to be crowded this time of year for the Cherry Blossom Festival and for this very large 10 mile race. Visitors are encouraged to rely on the Metro system and not try to drive and park for this race. This year's Cherry Blossom had some notable speakers at the expo, such as famous marathoner Bill Rodgers. There was also a great selection of vendors and official race merchandise.
Waiting for the race to start on the National Mall, the race organizers made an announcement. Unfortunately, the course was going to be short about a half mile due to a last minute reroute because of a traffic accident on the course. This was too bad, but it was good to receive this communication ahead of time. The course was excellent, as usual, even with the reroute. We ran past national monuments, the Potomac River, and traveled among the hundreds of Cherry Blossoms in peak bloom. Carrying a smartphone or small camera at this race is a must, as there are so many great photo ops.
The aid stations were adequately spaced and staffed with enthusiastic volunteers, as well as medical support. Something noteworthy is that I saw medical volunteers actually running the course with the participants. They carried basic first aid supplies and could assist with medical issues in between the aid stations. I've seen bike medical staff at other races, but never medical runners. Pretty cool!
There are several good spectating areas on this course, and the spectators are awesome and encouraging, especially in the last stretch up a steep hill to the finish line. The finish next to the Washington Monument is inspiring. Post-race, one thing that disappointed me about this race is that there was not enough food left for slower runners. After my finish I had to visit the medical tent due to a scraped up knee. I was able to get a bottle of water, but the food was either gone or had been packed up when I left the medical tent. The food disappeared early last year too. The food table should be accessible only by runners wearing a race bib. As it is, the open layout of the tables means that anyone (friends, family, spectators, etc.) can take food, even if they're not registered runners. That's about the only problem with this race.
The price point for the Cherry Blossom is great. It's a very reasonable cost for a popular, big city race with excellent race organization. The default t-shirt for the event is cotton, but during registration runners can pay an extra fee to upgrade to a tech fabric shirt in gender-specific sizing. You can also pay extra for a finisher medal during registration. The medal is a fairly new offering, undoubtedly added to satisfy the increasing demands for "race bling" by runners. The Cherry Blossom medal is well designed and matches the theme of the t-shirt.
This race is worth traveling to at least once. Entry is through a lottery drawing, but there is a transfer program, so it's often possible to register that way, even if initially denied entry via the lottery. Come to DC and run the Cherry Blossom!