Friday, January 22, 2016

Cherry Blossom Training Kickoff Party

Last night we kicked off PR Reston's Cherry Blossom Training Program with a happy hour/gear up party. It was a fun and informal way for participants to:

  • Meet the coaches & other runners
  • Ask questions about the program
  • Receive a generous discount on gear and apparel
  • Enjoy cherry blossom cupcakes 
  • Register for the race using PR premium promo codes
  • Preview the official race shirt
  • Opt for a New Balance/PR Training shirt/hoodie/jacket from a previous year's program

It was an especially timely event since the impending "snowzilla" means we are almost surely going to miss our informal kickoff run this Sunday. We were able to assure everyone that missing this run would not impact the training plan (which doesn't officially start until Monday), and that we would alert them by email about Sunday's status. 

Cherry Blossom cupcakes and tasty beverages

A little socializing before the main event

PR Owner Ray Pugsley discusses the right gear for cold weather training
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)

Race Registration

Almost all of the participants are in the "premium" program, which comes with a 2016 Cherry Blossom race bib. PR gives them a race code, and they use that race code to register for the race. We still have a limited number of registration codes available as of 1/22/16.

  • To make it as easy as possible, we provided codes onsite and access to laptops and iPads
  • We also had "visual aids" to show how the "upgrade" race shirt compared to the standard shirt and what the medal is like
  • This helped with the registration process, when runners need to decide whether to opt for add-ons like the tech shirt and the medal

The blue shirt is the 2016 "standard" shirt;
The upgrade shirt is red and made of technical fabric;
The medal is from last year, but gives an idea of the size & style

New Balance/PR Training Gear

Each year participants receive a long-sleeve training premium from New Balance. It could be a shirt, hoodie, half zip, or jacket. We don't know what they will look like until they come in! 

This year's training premium won't come in for a couple more weeks, and participants were given the option of selecting a past year's premium if they preferred. For some, it was like "Let's Make a Deal" as they tried to decide between the jacket or shirt they held in their hands and holding out to see what will be behind door #2. 

Past year's training premiums presented some tempting options
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)

Marti opted for a blue half zip with coral accents
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)

Ready to Run!

We aren't going to let a little snow dampen our enthusiasm for starting our training. We may miss our informal run this Sunday, and we could be doing speedwork in a parking garage on Tuesday rather than the high school track, but we are ready to run and start our path towards making our Cherry Blossom race goals a reality!

2016 PR Reston Cherry Blossom Coaches, clockwise from left:
Jeff, Traci, Stacy, Kristen, me, Laura
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)


  1. I was so indecisive about the shirts from last year. I couldn't bring myself to "make a deal". Looking forward to seeing this year's gear...

  2. I wore my shirt today. Love it! I hope I don't love this years' more, lol. I'm excited to start the training and bummed that we may not get out this week.

    1. I'm excited to start training, too. Snowzilla may have messed up this weekend, but we'll be out there soon :)

  3. Nice event! I'm sure today's run is cancelled. :-)

    1. Definitely cancelled! We got close to 30 inches of snow out here. It's not looking too promising for track Tuesday, either :)

  4. So I am loosely following one of the virtual training programs and was very confused as to why it said to run 10 miles today when the race is 2 months away. Obviously I did not do that but thought it was odd. Are you following one of the official plans?

    1. 10 miles does seem high. Is it the advanced virtual plan?

      I'm following the training plan we use for the =PR= training program. No one is running 10 this weekend!