When you think of the Cherry Blossom race in DC, most people think of the 10-miler, rightfully so. It does have the tagline "The Runner's Rite of Spring" on the website. I was lucky enough to get into the 10-miler through the lottery, but wasn't quite ready for the race after running the RnR DC Half a couple of weeks before and didn't want to risk injury, but I still wanted to run so I switched to the 5K distance.
I should say easily switched to the 5K distance with a click of a button on the Cherry Blossom website...the Friday before the race.
I decided to make a little weekend of it and spend the night in the city instead of making the 1+ hour drive in the morning of and trying to find parking. I hit the expo on Saturday afternoon, and while it was crowded I was in and out within 20 minutes (and that was with browsing around the expo after packet pickup).
I got up early on race day to meet up with my Coeur Sports teammates for a picture and to cheer them on as they took off on their 10-mile race.
The nice thing about the 5K starting much later than the 10-miler is that you get to see the winners of the 10-miler cross the finish line-which is something amazing to see (picture of the women's champ included in review). I hung around for that then made my way over to the 5K start line.
The one thing about the 5K is that since it's not necessarily competitive (and that's okay), the start line was a bit of a mess. Two corrals (from what I saw): 9 minute/mile and below and 9 minute/mile and above. I lined up in the appropriate corral, but many people did not. And that made for a very frustrating first mile. I blamed myself a little bit too though, for not having the confidence to line up toward the front.
Otherwise, the race was great. The course is a SUPER flat out-and back. Not really much to else to say about the course. It's also gorgeous because you get to see DC monuments and some of it is tree lined.
I didn't purchase the extra swag (tech tee/medal) so I can't speak for that, but I did receive a nice cotton t-shirt that I regularly wear as a pajamas top.
So, would I run this race again? YES! It's already on my 2018 schedule and I will be signing up as soon as it opens. Just need to remember to line up toward the front of the pack!