Cherry Blossom 5K Race Recap

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Calendar of topics for April:

  • 4/4: Hydration what/when/how/fave bottles, etc.
  • 4/11: Boston Marathon thoughts
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  • 4/25: Grade your month

 

Cherry Blossom 5K Race Recap

Going off topic here. Bloggers perogative! One of the first things I did when we made the official decision to move to the DC area was to sign up for this race.

One of the first things I did when we made the official decision to move to the DC area was to sign up for this race.

I knew there was no way I was ready for the 10-Miler and it’s 14-minute per mile pace cut off but I wanted to be part of the action anyway. I signed up for the 5K lottery and hoped for the best.

And I got in. I’m not sure that the 5K is as competitive of a lottery system as the 10-Miler because I never win these things, but I was happy to have my first race in the area on the books.

Three months later and of course, life happened, and of course I wasn’t even really trained for a 5K. But I went anyway.

Because: cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossom 5K

I’m still obsessed. Due to all the crazy weather around here, the season kinda stretched out. I was super happy to see all the blooms on the trees for this race weekend. It would have been a bummer to run the race without any!

The Metro was running for the 5Kers but I was concerned I would show up late due to some random stoppages they have going on right now. So I made the decision to drive in early.

I found a parking spot in a nearby garage (for only $15, which I was shocked was so cheap for DC) and was parked by 7:30 am. I headed toward the Washington Monument and the race start.

washington monument cherry blossom 5K

I showed up just in time to see the last 2 corrals take off and run the first bit of their route. If you are looking at this race for the future, know that the course is crowded at the start. It looked like it spread out after a few miles (we could see runners on their return on the other side of Independence) but I imagine it would be a bit frustrating at first, especially in the back corrals.

When it was time for the 5K, I slipped into the street and waited for the send-off.

This was the first time I realized that the 5K is not given as much importance as the 10-Miler.

I heard nothing. No announcement, no starter pistol, no banter over a loud speaker. Just looked up to see the clock over the start line had started. Oh, I guess we are running now? Okay then…

I decided to run 45 seconds walk 1 minute for my intervals. And I also promised my son I wouldn’t stop and take pictures along the way.

But- yeah, that didn’t happen. It was such a perfect day for running, I was so excited to be back out there, and I loved all the sights we passed. So I Insta-Storied the whole thing. Can’t take the blogger out of the runner, I guess.

Sorry, Luke. I failed you. And then failed me a little bit because I didn’t get all the pictures saved. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the save option going on the IG story, so that’s gone. #Whomp

Here are a few pictures I took with my camera, though.

Runners at the Cherry Blossom 5K coming over the Memorial Bridge. I cropped it this way to show some of the cobblestone street I hated.

This route is super flat and would be welcoming to any runner. Especially any history dork runner.

I loved the shaded sections and the various DC sights I could see as we ran past: Washington Monument, World War II monument, Korean Monument, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Memorial, and the Arlington National Cemetary were all on display nearby.

Cherry blossom 5K route

Hey- tulips on the Cherry Blossom 5K route! Who invited them? I’d say SPRING!

Two complaints about the route: absolutely no crowd support and a section of cobblestone streets.

There was one family with a sign, but no one else came out to cheer the runners on in this race. That’s kinda the fun part of running, in my opinion! But there were a bunch of nice volunteers out there, cheering us on and manning the single water station on the course.

And then we had these cobblestone portions that I wasn’t a fan of running on. Meh.

The first mile went by “fast” for me, the second I got caught up in taking pictures, but I made up a little time on the third mile. In the end, I finished just over 15-minute miles. My goal had been under 15-minute miles, so hey, not bad considering I Insta Storied the whole thing!

Another item to note: there were not any photographers on the course. If you were hoping for some epic running cherry blossom pics, yeah, no. Marathonphoto was not on the course or at the finish.

The biggest issue, however, was the end of the race. I was nowhere near the last person to cross, mind you, but the water table was out of water cups. And the food table had about 10 bananas left on it. I had pictures of this, alas, on InstaStory.

Sure, it’s “just” a 5K (not really, but I know that feeling is out there among some runners and race directors) and most people can manage immediately after the run without food. But water really should be available. Oh- it was, you just had to have a bottle or your own cup to get it. I missed the memo on BYOC.

C’mon, CUCB. You can do better.

I was told by a volunteer that the 10-Miler had plenty of water and food stocked and I should just go over there for it all. Um, no. That’s not how that works. I wasn’t going to take from the back of the pack 10-Milers.

Lord help them if they ran short of medals. Which it was looking to be the case. I heard volunteers telling 10-Milers who dropped down to the 5K that they needed to head to the 10-Miler tent to get one of those medals, and if there were any 5K ones left they would swap out.

Thankfully, I was able to pick one up. It sure is pretty!

Cherry Blossom 5K medal 2017

Overall, I’m giving this race a B-

Maybe they can start by giving the 5K a little more love next time?

Have you run the Cherry Blossom 5K or 10-Miler? What did you think?

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About Patty

Patty Holliday is a wife and mother of four. She's a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)

Comments

  1. I’ve never done this race – it soundsb beautiful but it does sound like there are some kinks to work out. That’s too bad!! Hopefully if you run it again it will be closer to an A-, B+ 🙂

  2. I’ve never run this race but the 10 miler has always been on my radar. In my opinion, no matter what size the race, big or small, they should NEVER run out of water or food …never.

    Glad you got to run this though and are having fun in your new city!

  3. I’m glad you were still able to see cherry blossoms, but the little fanfare for the 5k makes me wonder why they have it. Why put on a race, and then not support it?

  4. Damn the no crowd support! No fun! and no water- ugh! Race rules 101 I would say! The medal sure is pretty though for a 5K 🙂 that is the upside! Thanks for the recap!

  5. I think that would be a great way to sight see in DC 🙂

  6. Thats disappointing that there were so many issues with the 5k! I have heard good things about the 10 miler but have never heard details about the 5k. Im glad you got your medal!

  7. The only DC race I’ve ever run is MCM but wow this 5k seems like an afterthought compared to the 10-miler. Shame on them.

  8. Thank you so much. Glad you benefited from the post!

  9. Hope your next race is better! Did you post a recap of Princess weekend yet?

  10. Congrats! My sister ran the Cherry Blossom 5K a few years ago but I don’t recall whether she had a bad experience. The 10 Miler is definitely the priority! It looked like a beautiful day for a race – last year it was SUPER cold and windy!

  11. Next time run one of the Pacers races downtown. They are really awesome for any distance.

    Sometime soon we need to meet up…

  12. Great recap with awesome pictures. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed those pretty tulips.

  13. It seemed like a beautiful day for a race and those flowers so beautiful. I like all of your photos. Thanks for the detailed recap.

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