Saturday, April 4, 2015

Course Guide: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (2015)

I am so excited for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run next Sunday! Here is my mile-by-mile course guide to help you visualize and plan your race!

- Do you prefer a picture course guide? Check out the Photo Run
- Looking for more great tips for the expo & race? Check out Social Runner Lauren's Tips and Tricks

Mile 0

  • You are here: Starting corrals
  • Photographer: In 2014, there was a photographer on the left as you prepared to start (see tips for good Cherry Blossom photos here)
  • Water: To the right of the starting corrals (assuming you are facing forward)
  • Tips: Head to your corral early to get to the front where congestion is less of an issue

Mile 1

  • You are here: Independence Avenue
  • Tips: Don't go out too fast. Expect congestion. You might see the early runners coming toward you on the other side of Independence, now in their fifth mile.

Mile 2

  • You are here: Memorial Bridge
  • Tips: In the middle of the bridge you can high-five runners on the opposite side for motivation

Mile 3

  • You are here: Passing the Lincoln Memorial and running along the Kennedy Center
  • Photographer: By the Kennedy Center, but in 2014 the lighting was poor from the Kennedy Center overhang, so these photos didn't turn out well. Don't sweat this photo opp - it isn't the money shot you are after!
  • Water: About 1/3 into the mile - watch for slippery cups!

Mile 4

  • You are here: Second half of the Kennedy Center out & back, Ohio Drive out & back
  • Water: Towards the end of the mile

Mile 5

  • You are here: Independence Avenue
  • Photographer: At the end of the mile; should have a beautiful cherry blossom backdrop.
  • Tips: Enjoy the view - Washington Monument on your left, Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial on your right
  • Rerouted: in 2015 a crime scene closed part of the course and we turned off Independence early, missing the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and east side of the Tidal Basin. We ran along the west side of the Tidal Basin instead. Mile 5 was effectively reduced to a half mile. (See map below)

Mile 6

  • You are here: Rounding the Tidal Basin, entering East Potomac Park
  • Photographer: My most scenic photos from last year's race are along this stretch, with the Washington Monument and Cherry Blossoms in the background. Watch for the photographer!
  • Entertainment: Mr. Incredible, The Marathon Bike Guy at the end of the mile with music to get you pumped for the trip around Hains Point 
  • Rerouted: After running along the west side of the Tidal Basin, we re-joined the planned course at the entrance to East Potomac Park. 

Mile 7

  • You are here: East Potomac Park, heading towards Hains Point
  • Photographer: three-quarters of the way into the mile, a very scenic spot! Smile!
  • Water: At the start of the mile
  • Tips: This is a long stretch without many spectators and with the potential for wind. Prepare yourself mentally for this section, which lasts for 3 miles. Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms if they are out - they will be beautiful here!

Mile 8

  • You are here: Rounding the tip of Hains Point 
  • Water: Just before you round the tip of Hains Point
  • Entertainment: Trippy Rob and DJ Kay at the beginning of the mile with a rocking playlist 
  • Tips: There is usually a group handing out beer and oreos at the tip of Hains Point.

Mile 9

  • You are here: East Potomac Park, heading away from Hains Point
  • Water: About 3/4 of the way into the mile
  • Entertainment: Megawatt at the beginning of the mile with motivating music 
  • Tips: This is the last of the "Hains Point" miles - you can do it!

Mile 10

  • You are here: Rounding the Tidal Basin and running up 15th Street to the finish
  • Photographer: Lots of them along 15th Street!
  • Entertainment: Batala, an all-women percussion band at the beginning of the mile with a driving beat
  • Tips: There is a small hill towards the end of the race - anticipate it and conquer it! There should be 1200m, 800m, 400m signs at the very end of the race to help you know when to turn on your final kick!

Finish Line

  • You are here: You did it! The Finish Line!
  • Photographer: At the finish line (don't look down at your watch and miss your big moment) and after the finish line (line up for your official finisher photos). Get those finisher photos taken - you'll be glad you did!
  • Water: Off to the left after you get out of the immediate finisher area
  • Tips: The runners' village is off to the left. Plan a meeting spot ahead of time, last year we had trouble getting texts from each other.

Rerouted: In 2015, we followed the red line instead of
continuing east on Independence and around the
east side of the Tidal Basin

  2015 Course Map as originally planned.
Water & Entertainment locations (source

2015 Course Map - Photographer locations (source)

Staging Area (source)


  1. One of my favorite DC races. Sorry to miss it this year. Good luck

    1. Thank you Deborah! I am sure lady lottery luck will be with you for next year's race ;)

  2. Great breakdown! You should post this on the CUCB blog. ;-)

    1. Thanks Coco! I hear you've got some influence over there :)