Thursday, April 5, 2018

Course Guide: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (2018)

Are you running the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 8th? Here is a mile-by-mile course guide to help you visualize and plan your race!

There are two very important differences this year from prior years:

  • There are several fenced-off areas by the Washington Monument this year which will make it more challenging to move around - plan extra time! (the National Park Service is working on the monument grounds)
  • The Memorial Bridge is unavailable this year, so the course is different in the first few miles (again, the National Park Service is working on the bridge)

click for larger image

Staging Area 

  • You are here: to the west of the Washington Monument. Bag check and bike valet are in the area, as are portapotties.
  • Tips: Head to your corral VERY EARLY on the designated path. BONUS - all runners entering their corral prior to 6:45 will be entered into a drawing. One $500 VISA gift card and 41 $50 Under Armour gift certificates will be given away.
click for larger map

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)

Mile 1 (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 2 

  • You are here: Passing the Lincoln Memorial and running along the Kennedy Center, up to the turn-around at Virginia Avenue 
  • Photographer: There is often a photographer near the turn-around, smile!
  • Tips: If you run along the left you can high-five runners on the opposite side for motivation

Mile 3

  • You are here: Second half of the Kennedy Center / Rock Creek Parkway out & back

Mile 4

  • You are here: Out & back along Ohio Drive in West Potomac Park

Mile 5

  • You are here: Last bit of Ohio drive out & back, along Independence Avenue 
  • Photographer: Near the end of the mile, with cherry blossom trees in the backdrop (it should be beautiful this year - close to peak blooms!)
  • 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:  Good potential for scenic photos along this stretch, with the Washington Monument and cherry blossom trees in the background. Watch for the photographer!

Mile 7

  • 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!
  • 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 
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Medal Distribution: In the staging area to the west of the Washington Monument
  • Recycling: bins are located throughout the area; please support the sustainability efforts
  • Tips: Plan a meeting spot ahead of time; with so many active phones you may have trouble getting texts, and the restricted staging area may cause more congestion than usual.


  1. Oh I wish I'd found this before the run. Super helpful for an out of towner. Alas I never saw any photographers and he didn't find me

    1. Next year I'll do a better job pushing this out, and hopefully have more details like the course guides from earlier years. With the revised course, I wasn't 100% sure of all the details and didn't want to put out misinformation.

      I'm sorry you didn't see any photographers. That is always such a bummer.