Friday Five – Cherry Blossom 10M/5K Tips

March 25, 2016

The cherry blossoms are here! Your social media feeds have probably been filled with all the pink/white puffy goodness.  Next weekend is the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler/5K run. This will be my fifth time participating in the event, but first time running the 5K.  My 2014 and 2015 race recaps are HERE and HERE. Today I am linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia and sharing five tips for cherry blossom runners and spectators.

1. Metro Fare Cards

If you plan on traveling via metro the fare cards are now paperless.  You will have to use a SmarTrip card – more information here

2. People People People

There will be over 15,000 runners + friends and family.  Yes – it will be crowded.  Some of these are general tips and can be used at any race:

  • Runners – share your race day outfit and pace with your friends/family, run past the first water table – there are more
  • Spectators – also share your race day outfit or signs and stay within the course
  • Runners + Spectators – designate a meetup area at the finish

Where is the best spot to spectate the 10 Miler? I recommend Mile 1 on Independence Avenue, scoot over to Mile 5 on Independence Avenue OR Mile 5.5 near the Jefferson Memorial, then head over to the finish line (or sit atop the last (and pretty much the only hill) right before the finish). 

3. PR Possible

Even though it can be crowded, it is still possible to PR – it is a flat course.  Like any race there will be some weaving around (just try to run the tangents and not zig zag across the course).  In a perfect world, if everyone lined up according to their assigned corral (here are the corral seeding times) this would help.  Also, sometimes we enter lofty goals when registering and errr….training…..was not ideal.  If that is the case, start in a later corral – no shame in that.  If a PR is not on the agenda have fun! Enjoy the views.  

4. Secret Bathrooms (sort of)

If you have to go (and as long as the park system opens them) and can wait until Hains Point – there are some real bathrooms. 

5. Finish Festival

Cross that finish line and enjoy the moment.  Remember to grab water/food for yourself (sorry spectators, the water/food are for the runners).  I know it is tempting to grab a little extra of everything, but remember there are others finishing behind who may not get anything if everyone takes a little extra.  Meet up with your friends and family and take some photos!

Bonus: Here is a great 2015 course guide from Kim Runs Miles with Smiles

Do you have any runner or spectator tips for the Cherry Blossom 10M/5K?

Will you participating in the Cherry Blossom 10M/5K this year?

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36 Comments
    1. Useful tips! I never knew about the real bathrooms on Hains Point. My one tip for spectators from going down there last year is to go earlier than you think you need to! With metro and the crowds, it definitely took longer than expected. Plus, the earlier you get there the less people there will be. It was crazy how many more people showed up to see the Cherry Blossoms every minute.
      Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – Spring activitiesMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        That is a good tip. I take it for granted living so close. I’ll mention that to my cousin (or maybe she will read the comments) who will be watching her husband πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Yes, let’s meet! I’ll be running the 5K, but planning on getting there before the 10M start to watch. Lets message morning of (I’ll prob be wearing my Oiselle singlet, or you’ll see me with some of the other singlets) πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for the shout-out! Great tips. I am considering running the 5k this year since I am so undertrained for the 10 mile. Haven’t decided yet…

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Of course – you always have great course previews πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        They are always a plus! For the Gate River Run my village had real bathrooms, that was a nice plus πŸ™‚

    1. This race is on my bucket list and I love that you run it every year. hopefully runners do a good job with the corrals and the course does not get crazy crowded. Our azaleas are in bloom really early this year too and will be gone for the Azalea festival next week. It seems they are either early or late every year.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Hope you will be able to run Cherry Blossom when it is peak bloom! Even though it is crowded, I like the energy of the race. My parents use to have a few azealea bushes in the yard, but I think they took them out when they extended the porch. Hope you had a great weekend, Pam.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Smart move! I heard there was even a crowd for the sunrise. If you ever run the Navy Air Force Half, very similar to Cherry Blossom!

    1. Great tips! For me, Hains Point is so challenging. I need to get a good mental plan for that section of the course.
      Coco recently posted…Warning SignsMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        That is a good idea, I know that that is area several people find challenging! I am in the minority and love Hains Point.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Hope you get to visit DC for a race – a plus if it coincides with cherry blossoms πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Woo hoo goal race! I remember you loved it last year and was in the back of my mind when I asked Cliff if he wanted to run πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Debbie! Running has come a long way, I remember when it didn’t sell out + starting in West Potomac Park. I need to dig around and try to find the key chain they use to give out.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, Abby! Hope you get to visit one day + run with us πŸ™‚

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