As I had mentioned previously, because I registered for the RRCA Annual Convention, I was guaranteed a spot in the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. So, naturally, I was going to run it! I had never run this race before and have heard a lot about it. There have been years when the weather was gorgeous and all the cherry blossoms are in bloom and years when it’s been cold and nasty with no flowers to enjoy. I was hopeful it would be nice.
The morning of the race came and it looked like it would be a perfect day for a race. The only downside was while waiting for the race to start, it was going to be quite chilly. That is probably my least favorite thing about Spring and Fall races, the chilly wait at the start. The start and finish were right beside the Washington Monument. It was a beautiful sight, watching the sun rise over the city and all the monuments. It definitely helped to keep me distracted from the cold.
With any major race, the start is divided into corrals based on each runners expected finish time/pace. So, when registering, it asks your expected finish time for a 10 miler. Well, as I arrived to the start and was checking out the corrals, I discovered I must have entered my information incorrectly. My corral was listed as yellow, which just so happened to be the ELITE corral! 0_o Uhhhhh, what?! I realized that I must have mistakenly entered in my 10K time instead of my 10 mile time! Ooops! Needless to say, I stuck back a couple of corrals so I wouldn’t be trampled on at the start. lol 🙂
Once the race started, the sun was up and the temperature was finally rising. 🙂 We ran north along the Potomac River and then turned around to head back down to the end of East Potomac Park. The Cherry Blossoms were bloomed and beautiful. I definitely caught myself slowing down to enjoy the views and scenery. As we reached the tip of the park, there was a group of people passing out beer and Oreos!!! 🙂 Needless to say, I had to stop and partake. 😉
Once the course left the park, we began to head back towards the start/finish line. There were tons of spectators cheering us on. That was really cool, to be running among all the cheering. I crossed the finish line, yay, 🙂 and had to decide how I wanted to get back to the hotel. I pulled up the map on my phone and saw that the hotel was 3 miles away. I could hop on the metro and get a ride back or I could just run back! I am currently training for an ultra marathon and need as many hours/miles on my feet as I can get while training. So naturally, I chose to run back. 😉
I’m glad I did, I got to see more of the city and monuments during my run. I ran past the WWII Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon. It was pretty cool to get my runs in while sightseeing at the same time.
Overall, it was a great day for a race and a really enjoyable weekend. I am super thankful to have had the opportunity to have this experience. 🙂 If you have never run the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, I would recommend you do it at least once. It was a fun way to see the city of Washington, D.C. Below are some more pictures from race day.