Saturday, March 25, 2017

Course Guide: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (2017)

Are you running the 2017 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 2nd? Here is a mile-by-mile course guide to help you visualize and plan your race!

Prefer a picture course guide? Check out the Photo Run

Start Line 

  • You are here: Starting corrals
  • Photographer: There are plenty of MarathonFoto photographers in this area. Look for the yellow vests and make sure your bib number is visible so you can find your photos after the race  (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 0 (start line to mile marker #1) 

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

Mile 1 

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

Mile 2

  • You are here: Passing the Lincoln Memorial and running along the Kennedy Center
  • Photographer: There is usually a photographer near the Kennedy Center - smile!
  • Water & Gatorade: About 1/3 into the mile - watch for slippery cups!

Mile 3

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

Mile 4

  • You are here: Independence Avenue
  • Photographer: Near the end of the mile, with cherry blossom trees in the backdrop (but maybe no more petals)
  • Water & Gatorade: Just after the 4-mile marker (thanks, Don Libes!)
  • Tips: Enjoy the view - Washington Monument on your left, Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial on your right

Mile 5

  • You are here: Rounding the Tidal Basin, entering East Potomac Park
  • Photographer:  Good potential for scenic photos along this stretch, with the Washington Monument and cherry blossom trees in the background. Watch for the photographer!
  • Transponder Mat: 5 mile split will be sent to those tracking your progress

Mile 6

  • You are here: East Potomac Park, heading towards Hains Point
  • Photographer: about three-quarters of the way into the mile, a very scenic spot! Smile!
  • Water & Gatorade: At the start of the mile
  • Entertainment: Mr. Incredible, The Marathon Bike Guy towards the beginning of the mile with music to get you pumped for the trip around Hains Point
  • Transponder Mat: 10K split will be sent to those tracking your progress
  • 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 7

  • You are here: Rounding the tip of Hains Point 
  • Entertainment: DJ Alkimist at the beginning of the mile
  • Water & Gatorade: Just before you round the tip of Hains Point
  • Tips: There is usually a group handing out beer and oreos at the tip of Hains Point.

Mile 8

  • You are here: East Potomac Park, heading away from Hains Point
  • Entertainment: The New Jazz Coalition at the beginning of the mile
  • Water & Gatorade: About 3/4 of the way into the mile
  • Tips: This is the last of the "Hains Point" miles - you can do it!

Mile 9

  • 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
  • Transponder Mat: 9 mile split will be sent to those tracking your progress
  • 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 ruin your finish photo), and after the finish line (line up for your official finisher photos). Get those finisher photos taken - you'll be glad you did!
  • Transponder Mat: your finish time will be sent to those tracking your progress!!
  • Water & Gatorade & Food: Off to the left after you get out of the immediate finisher area
  • Medal Distribution: Just beyond the water, next to the family reunion area
  • Recycling: bins are located throughout the area; please support the sustainability efforts
  • Tips: The runners' village is off to the left. Plan a meeting spot ahead of time; with so many active phones you may have trouble getting texts.


  Course Map with Water & Entertainment locations (source

Elevation Map, courtesy of Sean Hartnett (source)
Note that elevations are greatly exaggerated in this graphic
The CUCB course has an elevation range of only 31 feet & is considered flat


Photographer locations in 2015, use as a general guide (source)

Staging Area: note the layout is different than in prior years (source)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Special Lucky Leprechaun 5K

photo courtesy of Potomac River Running
Although I hadn't planned on running any races until I had rebuilt some of my lost endurance and speed, the Lucky Leprechaun 5K presented me with an opportunity I couldn't refuse.

I had the opportunity to run with a friend and experience her first 5K through her eyes.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Quick Catch Up

It's been over two months since I posted anything! Here's a speed round catch up on my running life...