RACE RECAP – Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

2014 Cherry Blossom RunThis past weekend a few friends and I headed down to Washington DC for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.  We honestly had such a great time and did SO much, so I’ll be writing a separate post on the rest of our DC adventures, for now this is just a recap of the actual race!

Friday night after we arrived in DC, Dan and I headed over to the expo to pick up our bibs (Pat was flying in later that night).  In keeping with our usual expo plan we popped in about 5 minutes before they closed and were in and out of there in under 10 minutes!

Cherry Blossom ExpoWe then spent the rest of the night Friday and all day Saturday diligently focusing on our race prep.  We went to museums and took multiple walking tours of DC.  We ate at amazing restaurants and were sure to completely stuff ourselves (and then have dessert).  And we went to bed entirely too late.

Yup, come Sunday morning there was nothing we wanted to do more than get up at 5am and run 10 miles!

So, up we got and off we went!  We walked the mile from our hotel to the starting area at The Mall, which would have been a nice warm up walk, except it was anything but warm.  The cold definitely caught us a little off guard, but thanks to our throw away clothes and some spare trash bags we managed to keep warm (enough) until the start.

Washington Monument Pre-RaceAfter a quick porta-potty stop (thumbs up to Cherry Blossom for having plenty of porta-potties!) we wandered over to the stage area to find Christine who was volunteering for the morning!

Pre-Race with ChristineWhen Christine and I were done reminiscing about the Marine Corps Marathon we ran together in DC last fall the boys and I headed to the corrals, where Dan, Pat, Jenn and I took our traditional pre-race corral selfie!

Pre-Race Corral SelfieOk, so Jenn wasn’t really there, but she was supposed to be there with us until she realized she had a wedding that weekend, so we decided to have some fun and take “flat Jenn” with us on the trip!  (This was the race version, we actually had a better cutout version that we took pictures with all over DC!  Honestly, I had way too much fun with this whole thing!)

We crossed the starting line and I can honestly say I immediately felt the effects of all my well planned and executed race prep.

Cherry Blossom StartI was tired. My legs hurt and certainly did not feel like moving at all, much less at a decent pace and I could totally tell I was dehydrated.

I struggled through the miles both wishing this was a 10k instead of a 10 miler and being thankful it was a 10 miler and not a half marathon.

The course itself had a lot of short out and backs and loops and was fairly crowded from start to finish.

Cherry Blossom - Arlington

Loop past Arlington

And while the run was still gorgeous, the cherry blossoms weren’t as cooperative as we would have liked them to be.

Cherry Blossom - Tidal BasinOther than the crowding for most of the race, my only other small complaint is the water stops.  There were plenty of them and they were well manned, but they were only on one side of the road, so every time we’d go through a water stop the crowd would crowd even more over to that side of the road trying to get water and it was just a congested mess!  I honestly probably ran into/ tripped over/ spilled water or Gatorade on someone going through every water stop because it was just so hectic!

Luckily the boys found this makeshift beer and oreo stop along the way and were able to hydrate & fuel up there!

Cherry Blossom - BeerI couldn’t be happier to finally see the finish line!  And in the end my overall pace wasn’t as bad as it felt (it felt like I was slogging my way through quicksand for 10 miles), so considering my stellar race prep I was more than happy with my run.  (But still very glad it was over.)

Cherry Blossom - FinishWe wandered around the finish area on The Mall for a bit, grabbed some snacks and water and found Christine to say goodbye before we headed back to our hotel for a quick shower and brunch before our bike tour of DC!  (We billed the day as a mini-duathlon.)

Cherry Blossom - Post RaceOne of the things I liked about this race was that basically to keep the cost of the registration down you got a cotton t-shirt, but could pay extra in advance to upgrade to a tech shirt and when you registered you had the option of no medal, or getting a medal for an additional fee.

I didn’t opt to get a medal, but Dan did, so if you’re interested, here’s what they look like!

Cherry Blossom Medal

Photo by Daniel Wanderman

And with that, we were off to continue our commando touring of Washington DC! 

What do you think about medals being an add-on option??

22 thoughts on “RACE RECAP – Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

  1. I know people who aren’t all that interested in medals and would be cool with the no-medal option. I love medals and would consider paying extra, if the race fee were low and the medal feel kept the total cost reasonable.

    • Yeah, I personally don’t care too much about the medals (other than maybe a milestone race or something) so I actually really like that it’s an option!

  2. I think that is a great idea to offer tech or cotton shirts and to offer a medal as an add on. I really do not need any more race shirts or medals. I am collecting race shirts for a tee shirt quilt and cotton is way easier to work with!

  3. I LOVE that you were still able to have “Jenn” with you! I also love the choice of photograph. I don’t understand what’s with the races putting water stops on one side. That’s really annoying, but I think I may have to do this race if for no other reason than the hopes of getting to stop at the beer and oreo stop! I think every race should have a beer and oreo stop. Oooo! Maybe a beer and oreo and BACON stop! …Sorry about my bacon brain.

    I honestly think that all races should have medals. But that’s probably because I’m still in denial that I participate in them and actually finish them, and like having a medal as a reminder/proof that I did so. But having it as an option so that those who don’t want/need one don’t have to pay as much is a pretty good idea.

    • Haha, yeah when I found the Jenn ice cream photo I knew I had found the perfect one!

      I totally laughed when I read that you like the medals because you need “proof” that you actually did it! Too funny. I can totally do without medals so I really like having it as an option!

    • The upgrade costs weren’t really that bad either, so it’s nice, those that want it can get them or you can save a few dollars! I thought it was a good idea.

  4. This explains why I never see people walking around with race medals on… Somehow I feel like it’s with airlines cutting beverage services, I know they’re saving money but I question how much of the savings are being passed on to me (thought Cherry Blossom is actually a pretty cheap race).

  5. Looks like quite a production for a 10 miler. I have all kinds of medals, so not getting one for a 5k or 10k is no big deal for me. I’d rather keep the cost low for everyone and let others have the option to pay a little extra for a medal.

  6. Great job! I was following along on instagram!
    I do not likey that no medal option. I hope that doesn’t become a trend! I’m sure Rock n Roll will pick up on thought and charge an additional $40. Seriously, I think that bites.

    • It’s so interesting how people feel so differently about the optional medal (which is kind of why I asked it, I was interested in what people thought). I have to admit, I personally really liked it for a 10 mile race since I don’t really care about medals and without it the race registration was only $43, which I thought was reasonable for a 10 mile run through Washington DC! I’m sure if the medal and tech shirt were automatically included it would have been $65+.

  7. The shirt/medal option was my favorite thing about the race (other than the beautiful course) when I did it in 2012. Loved that I had the option to save money…which I did. Unfortunately, I also found it WAY too crowded. I literally couldn’t run as fast as I wanted to. It’s a great race for a fun run, but not great if you’re racing for time unless you’re in the front of the pack. Glad you had fun despite tired legs!

  8. Pingback: Cherry Blossom Weekend: Touring DC | Live, Run, Grow

  9. Sounds like a fun time! I know what you mean about less-than-stellar race prep; that tends to happen a LOT when I go somewhere for a “race-cation,” but I definitely pay for it on the race course the next morning! I love the shirt/medal option! I think I might forgo the medal for a 10-miler…a half marathon or marathon, though, probably not. 🙂

  10. Congrats on making a race-cation awesome! What’s the point of it if you don’t fully enjoy yourself- even if it does make for a not so great race.

    I do love that the tech tee and medal is an add-on for this race, I just wish they’d let you upgrade!

  11. I’m a sucker for medals, but I do like the option to get one or not. I definitely don’t need the t-shirts. I hate when water stops are only on one side – it does make for a congested mess.

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