The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-mile run is a tradition in our household. My husband usually competes in the 5K and for the past few years I’ve sucked it up and run the 10 miles.
Sometimes you hit the cherry blossoms right at their peak and well, sometimes it’s rainy and you can only focus on the finish line. But it’s by far my favorite race. It’s flat. It’s beautiful. It goes right along all of the monuments and Haine’s Point. It’s enormous with 15,000 runners in the 10-mile (there’s also a 5K and half-mile Kid’s Fun Run). So, if you’d like to sign up for the lottery– mark your calendar and hope the best.
Lottery entries will be accepted from Dec. 3-Dec. 14 here. The race is April 7.
A kickoff event for the race will be held Nov. 16 from 6-9 p.m. at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, where you can enter to win one of 25 guaranteed entries, enjoy food and drinks, see the 2013 t-shirt design and participate in a silent auction for several New Balance and Potomac River Running packages.
My own advice: Enter the lottery the week of Dec. 3, and see what happens. Runners drop out. People transfer their numbers when they realize they haven’t trained at all. And volunteer if possible.
After a year of not being accepted into the lottery, finagling a way into the race through a friend of a friend, and losing all hope of ever running it again, I figured out the volunteering secret. If you have a few hours to spare the week of the race, you can GUARANTEE entry the following year. Registration for volunteers starts on Dec. 1, and you’ll want to know the best times do fill up fast and first.
The first year we signed up to volunteer a week or two before the race and ended up on the trash team. Yep. Sorting trash at the race. And I was six months pregnant. Talk about glamorous.
Last year we volunteered on Saturday afternoon handing out T-shirts to the runners at the expo. So. Much. Better. And then, because we timed it right… we were also able to run the race on Sunday.
It’s a beautiful race. And even though I’ve lived here for a while now, I still love me some cherry blossoms. No spring is complete without seeing them on the tidal basin.