For the first time in forever, a race recap! The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler: or a Race You Should Never Run if You Like Personal Space.
The Cherry Blossom 10 miler expo is held in the National Building Museum, which is cool because it’s pretty and scenic and they have inaugural balls there so history. It is not good because the bib pick-up area is cramped and tight and not at all suited to the flow of large numbers of people. I went Friday immediately after work and it was crowded, so I can only imagine how crowded it would be on Saturday. This was also true of Marine Corps Marathon: empty on Friday, packed on Saturday.
Race registration for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was like buying an airline ticket–everything was an “extra.” Race registration: $45. Medal? Add $5. Upgrade your cotton t-shirt to a tech shirt? Add $10. Enhanced medal? Add $10. I got the cotton t-shirt and the race medal. If memory serves, the “enhanced” version had your time printed on the back and I was glad I didn’t get the tech shirt because it was white and, hello, pit stains.
I wasn’t prepared for the race at all. I started off with the best of intentions and then I remembered how comfy my couch is and television came back from its hiatus… Anyway. I walked to the start (loved that) so I have no idea what Metro was like. I’m assuming a mess because it’s Metro.
Coincidentally, the 10 Miler fell on the actual week of “peak blossom.” Honestly, they are really pretty and it’s so nice to walk around the Tidal Basin except there are people everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And the 10 Miler continues that tradition.
From the minute I got into my corral until I was well past the finish line, this race was crowded. I mean packed. If you’re a RunDisney runner, it was basically Main Street for the entire race. If you wanted to PR, you’d need to start out with people running your pace because otherwise, my friend, you are fucked. I also noticed a lot more people who had fallen and gotten injured on this course than I have during previous races. Was the congestion? The slippery surfaces by the famed cherry blossoms? The world may never know.
I made peace with the lack of running room, though, and the fact that I hadn’t really put a lot of effort into the race when it was announced that due to an accident, this would actually be more like a 9.5 miler than a 10 miler. See, it’s like I was lazy because I knew it wouldn’t count not just because I’m lazy.
Hains Point was beautiful with the blossoms, though, and that was really nice. It was a course that overlapped with the Nike 1/2 marathon course and the Marine Corps Marathon course and the Pacers’ St. Patrick’s Day 10k/5k. We’re kind of limited in DC on the race courses.
After finishing the race, I couldn’t find where the food was [Despite being more or less in the middle of the pack, the water stations on the course were pretty heavily depleted by the time I got there.] and it took me 15 minutes to figure out where to pick up my medal. Since they were an “added enhancement,” medals weren’t handed out in the finisher’s chute, instead they were off on the grass by the Washington monument.
While I wouldn’t be eager to do it again, it was a nice race and I will leave you with some scenic cherry blossom photos and an astute quote from my very wise mother.
“A tree is a tree, haven’t these people every seen a f–king tree before?”