Saturday, April 2, 2016

2016 Course Guide: Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

It's that time again - one more day until the 2016 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run!  Here is a mile-by-mile course guide to help you visualize and plan your race.

- Looking for a picture course guide? Check out the Photo Run
- Looking for the 2015 (normal) course guide? click here

See important message from race organizers at the bottom of this post. Due to high winds and evolving safety precautions, information below may be subject to change. 

Water stops have been condensed for tomorrow:

Mile 0

  • You are here: Starting corrals, staging area
  • Photographer: There are lots of MarathonFoto photographers in the staging area before the race. If you get a pre-race picture, make sure your bib is showing! Otherwise your photo will end up in the "unidentified" batch. There are also photographers on both sides of the starting corrals (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. (Maybe you will see Meb and the 6:00 pace group!)

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: In 2015 the photographers were by the turnaround. 
  • 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; if the blossoms were still out it would have a beautiful cherry blossom backdrop.
  • Tips: Enjoy the view - Washington Monument on your left, Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial on your right

Mile 6

  • You are here: Rounding the Tidal Basin, entering East Potomac Park
  • Photographer: Here you have the opportunity for some scenic shots with the Washington Monument 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  

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 (especially when the cherry blossoms are out). 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. 

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: Eric Hand 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: Bass Camp 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 in the finisher chute
  • Tips: The runners' village is off to the left. Plan a meeting spot ahead of time, sometimes texts come through quickly. In the village you will find water, heat sheets, food, medals (for those who ordered one), and bag check. If you are a faster runner, please only take one of each so us back-of-the-pack folks can have some post-race fuel, too. Amenities will be in the finisher chute.

  Course Map with Water & Entertainment locations (source

2015 Course Map - Photographer locations (source)
Staging Area (source)

Please note this important message from the race organizers, 2 pm, 4/2/16:

Based on high wind warnings of expected wind gusts in excess of 50 mph, and in the interest of the safety of our runners and volunteers, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run is implementing a range of race day adjustments.

At the present time, our plans are to move forward with both the 10-mile and 5K, but the Kids Run has been cancelled.

We are asking all of our participants to understand that these adjustments are being made for your safety while enabling us to conduct the race at all. These changes include:
  • Elimination of all race signage and overhead structures at the start and finish lines of both races 
  • Elimination of all on-course signage including split time clocks
  • Elimination of all tents on the Washington Monument Grounds except for the bag check tent and the main medical tent
  • Elimination of pre-race warm-ups and post-race awards ceremony

After you finish the race, 10 milers will receive heat blankets, water, medals and food as you head north on 15th Street, and then will be encouraged to head home. 5K finishers will receive the same amenities at the finish line of the 5K.

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