Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday!

Though I hated the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler last year (how can a race be soooo crowded and disorganized, when it’s been going for almost 40 years?), I had my guaranteed registration from volunteering last year (where I was treated worst than I’ve ever been in my life, when I first arrived), so I will make a point of running it this year, because I earned that stupid registration, damn it!  But, if the organization doesn’t improve, I think I will never run it again.

When I ran in 2009, it was my very first long distance run.  The most I had done was a 10k about six months earlier.  It was a BIG deal for me to finish, as I signed up not knowing if I would have to walk (I didn’t), or if I would be picked up by the slow bus (I didn’t). 

At that time, they had 12,000 people running it, and they ran out of water on mile 8 and the volunteer had the nerve to tell me “next time run faster.”  I’m sorry, you have a 2:20 cut off time, I crossed the finish line before even the 2 hour mark, YOU HAVE TO HAVE WATER FOR THE VERY LAST PERSON CROSSING THE FINISH LINE.  It’s not like you didn’t know how many people were coming!

Last year, they increased the field to 15,000 people (why do you increase when you couldn’t handle the crowds the year before?), and though they did have water at mile 8, they had run out of water at the finish line (there was a HUGE sign saying “WATER” and only empty boxes to be seen).  Luckily, Karl had a water for me when I finished.  You pay if you want a a medal, and since we already established that I’m a medal whore, I of course, paid for one.  There were huge lines to claim your medal.

The course is beautiful, but the people were mean.  I got bumped, pushed, elbowed even late in the miles, as the course was crowded even at mile 9.  I started in my correct corral, and was running the pace I claimed to run when I registered, PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE PUSHING!  There were bottlenecks the whole way, where you had to considerably slow down.  It was really frustrating.

You can read my report from last year here.  The course is beautiful, isn’t it?  I had a great run, because I was just having a good day.  I loved running with Lindsay as well (who hated it last year and will not be running this year).  I think because she was feeling so miserable and wanted to walk as early as mile 1, I concentrated my energy on getting her not to give up and cross the finish line with me, instead of my own run.  It worked!  She never gave up, and I had a great time running with her!


I feel that despite having run two half marathons in the last couple of weeks, I’m in much worse shape than I was last year (specially after my half marathon fiasco last week).  I didn’t get one run in this week, which sucks, but the weather was just cold and raining and miserable.

I know that unless I get injured (knock on wood!) I can finish before the cut off time, but I have no idea if I can even beat my time from last year.  And to think 6 months ago, I was getting a HUGE PR when I ran the Army Ten Miler, cutting off 13 minutes off my time!  I am also 10 lbs heavier, which is taking a toll on all my runs.  I’m actually looking forward to getting some food poisoning in Manila to shed some weight.  (Kidding!  Ok, kind of.)

Wish me luck.  I’m hoping to get at least 1:55 time.  Can I make my body do it, even if it’s not up for it?


Filed under 10 Miler, Race

16 responses to “Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday!

  1. Good luck to you! I just saw a ton of people picking up their bibs near one of the credit unions on the hill. I ran the 5k last year and wish I was doing it again.

  2. Stephanie

    Thanks for the insight into the race. Its my first 10 miler and its good to know what to expect. I’m running with a friend, so I’m hoping we can count on each other for encouragement and finish under 2 hours!

  3. Funny I hate the Cherry Blossom run too! And yet I am running it again this year. Every year I am shocked that they run out of food and water. I think those slow ones in the back probably need it more than the really fast front runners 🙂 I hoping to hit around the 2 hour mark..not sure though b/c my training has sucked this winter. Good luck and if you are running a little slower we might be able to push each other around during the run lol …Also wonder if the guy with the free oreos and beer will be back this year lol

    • Shoot me an email if you want to meet up then and try to run together. I’m aiming for a 1:55, hopefully 1:50, but let’s be honest, none of this might happen. If you want to tag along, let me know! I’m running it with Hugi, but I have a feeling she’ll be super-speedy!

  4. Beki

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only slow one here!! (although I am admittedly much slower than you all and will be cutting it VERY close. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m slow and might get picked up, but at least I can say I tried!)

    Any suggestions for a girl in dc by herself? It’s my first time here so I’m completely up for any and all suggestions!!

    • Where are you staying? Make sure to walk around the National Mall (super early to avoid the crowds!) tomorrow. It’s beautiful there. You’re welcome to meet up with my running group as well, here is our event page, with our meeting location: I wish I could show you around, but I’m leaving so soon that I have no time for it! If you have any specific questions, shoot me an email!

      • Beki

        Oh my gosh!! I have never seen more runners in my life!! I walked some of the monuments yesterday and my plan is to head to a museum after I get my packet (not sure which one though… I’m leaning towards Natural History).
        Im staying at the hosteling international hostel and so far it’s been a very good experience! I’ll try to meet up with you guys tomorrow, thank you so much for the offer! It’s so intimidating being in completely new surroundings!

  5. AKB

    Good Luck! I’ve never run Cherry Blossom (I never won the lottery!) but when I ran Army two years ago I was similarly disillusioned with people’s complete inability to start in the proper corral. I was weaving around WALKERS who by my calculation must have started in the 7:30 or 8:00 min/mi corrals. What the heck people?!

    Anyway, good luck and I hope the weather is decent this weekend!

    • See my issue was different — I wasn’t weaving around walkers so much (which is the usual for this race), but I had people running what must have been an 8 minute mile, starting behind me (got there late?) and would push me out of the way to get through! Meanwhile, I wasn’t walking, and was running the correct pace of my corral. Even when I pass people in races I don’t push them!

      In the future, if you volunteer, you get guaranteed registration the following year, which is what I’ve been doing!

  6. I’ll be there!

    I wasn’t going to run it, but I couldn’t let an injured friend’s bib go to waste. (shh … did you see all the warnings about doing that? Whatever, it’s paid for!)
    I’m not running for speed, and actually could be in jeopardy of the cut off since my friend’s sister is terribly undertrained!

  7. Hope you had a great run! I thought it was a fantastic race!!

  8. Ugh, it was really crowded again this year….I was doing a ton of weaving and shuffling my feet. As far as I saw no one ran out of food and there was always a cup with liquid in it when I ran by water stops.
    The best part was the part that none of us had control over, The WEATHER was amazing!!!

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