Cherry Blossom Weekend
What an adventure we had with the CRC Tribe at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. It all started back in December when I sent out an email with a link for people to enter the race lottery on the CRC team. The day of the lottery arrives and the confirmation emails start to arrive our team of 9 has been selected to run in the 2019 Cherry Blossom 10 miler.
Group training for the race took place on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evening with our track workouts. Cold dark evenings, windy Saturday mornings completing speed workouts in the extreme cold on a dark track was part of the journey. April seems very far away in January but it came quickly.
Our group was comprised of different ages and backgrounds, but we all had one thing in common we were all going to run the streets of DC. We left on Saturday morning, the CRC machine was filled with 5 of our tribe members, and we departed heading to the race expo. Little did we know that the theme of the trip to DC was traffic. We sat in traffic as soon as we hit the blue route, what was supposed to be a two and a half hour trip turned into a four-hour trip that included one stop for food and a bathroom break. Once we arrived at the expo we had to jump out of the car and get our bibs and some other items, then it was off to the hotel.
After checking in we met for other members of our tribe for pre-dinner drinks at Ragtime, a restaurant right next to the hotel. After a wonderful team dinner at Tupelo Honey it was back to the hotel to lay out the race stuff and get some rest.
Race morning came early, a 4:30 AM wake up, crappy hotel coffee and trying to use the bathroom so to avoid the porta potty. Since there was no METRO service to the start of the race we had to use two ubers to get our tribe to start of the race. This worked out perfectly. We got the start of the race in no time, meet up with our other tribe members, checked our bags got in line for the porta-potties and took our official team picture.
We made our way to the official starting area of the race the nerves started, there were so many people crammed into the corals, we made our way across the official start and hit go on our watches and we were off on our 10 mile adventure. Well sorta off, once we started running I realized right away that there was going to be a lot of weaving around people, there was a lot of walking, and people that were running together and were running 3 to 4 people side by side. While it can be frustrating to run a race this way I try and find some enjoyment, as the man bun team, there were two guys with man buns running side by side together. The first 5 miles I found myself speeding up and slowing down depending on the crowd in front of me. At one point in the race, you flip a cone and you can see runners coming to the opposite direction that you are running, that was fun I was able to see most of our tribe. Once we hit mile 5 it seemed that the race opened up and you could get into a pace and settle in and run your race. This is also the part of the race where you see the Cherry Blossoms, I am far from a tree guy but you have to be amazed at the view when running past. The race takes you around fetchers point for mile 6-10, funny thing is that this area is also part of the MCM course, that I really do not like. But to be fair I did enjoy it a lot more during the 10 miler than the marathon. As I finished the race I couldn't help but think what a great day for a race. This was my 2nd race in as many weeks and I was glad to be back to being able to run back to back weekends.
After the entire team finished and we got our canned coffee, honey stinger waffles, and banana we made our way to the METRO station (it was running now) and back to the hotel. We had brunch reservations at Ragtime for 11:30 and didn't want to be late.
The post-race brunch at Ragtime was a highlight of the trip, the race was over and I love hearing about everyone's experience. Between beers, mimosas, and the food we laughed and told the tale of the Cherry Blossom 2019.