Welcome, runners, to the District of Columbia. Our nations’ capital welcomes you, we just ask that you get the hell out of our way on the sidewalk. Cherry Blossom season is upon us! Personally, I prefer the abundance of Japanese magnolia that are everywhere but hey, as long as I’ve had my Claritin it’s all good. In the spirit of welcoming you to our nation’s capital, I thought I’d provide a list of good places to eat and race tips for you out of towners.
1. Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is crowded.
All runners have that one time they think, “this is it, this is the time I trip and get trampled,” but Cherry Blossom was 10 miles of that. I’m serious, it’s crowded and it stays crowded so you need to chill and accept it. There’s a good chance you won’t fit in your corral, just FYI.
2. Want to make it a double header? Add on Crystal City 5k on Friday
Friday evenings in April the Crystal City 5k series is held. It’s a local race with an “I just got out of work now let’s run to the damn alcohol” vibe. Race is jogger friendly, so if you wanted to bring the kids (or the dog), go for it. Race start/finish are conveniently accessible via blue line metro.
3. Rely on Metro, but don’t rely on Metro
You know, it’s a quasi death trap that was closed recently for a day because they suddenly “realized” it was a death trap. Pick up a Smartcard (I suggest buying at CVS because the machines in the metro station will rip you off), ride metro, but always have a back up plan. Always.
4. Dining Out
Maybe you don’t want to spend the money Washington institutions are charged with printing up. For affordable, tasty pre-race pizza carb-loading available around DC try &pizza (I had this on Sunday, it was delicious). Breakfast: hit up District Doughnut in Eastern Market, stop by Ted’s Bulletin for house-made pop tarts, and get yourself some New Orleans specials (read: beignets) at Bayou Bakery (Arlington or Eastern Market).
5. Enjoy Yourself
It’s the runners’ rite of spring or something and the flower petals really do look quite lovely, the spectator crowds are great considering it’s mostly around Hains Point, and sure, we’re the city with the early bedtime but DC isn’t too bad.