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Cherry Blossom 10 Miler




I had registered for the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race in Washington DC, but was debating on switching to the 5K because I developed bursitis on one of the small toe's of my right foot.   After some thought I decided to stay with the 10 mile race, but to do the 10 miles at a comfortable run/walk pace, where I would run for 4 minutes at a 10 min/mile pace followed by a walk for 2 minutes at a 20 min/mile pace.   This would have me finishing in about 2 hours, well under the 2:20 time limit and hopefully minimize any soreness to my foot.

Me and my wife were staying in Bethesda, MA with my sister and her husband.   We came into Bethesda late Friday afternoon .  It took us little longer than needed as after we made a stop on the Pennsylvania turnpike for lunch and we then got back on it in the wrong direction where the next exit where we could turn around being  10 miles later.   Note, that there is not much notice after you pass though the Pennsylvania Turnpike photo toll booths on choosing your direction and we happened to be in the wrong lane.   Friday night we had a nice dinner out with my sister, her husband, and their teenage son. 

Saturday was the race expo with package pickup, and their son had a rugby tournament.   My brother-in-law and nephew went to the tournament and my wife, my sister, and myself headed to the expo early Saturday afternoon.   Once we drove into DC the traffic became very slow and congested, at least partly because the Cherry Blossom Festival was also happening.   My sister was driving and I was helping her navigate to the National Building Museum where the expo was, and simultaneously trying to located somewhere to park using Spot Hero.   As we got near the expo I found a parking garage where we could park for $14 that was only a couple of blocks from the expo.  It was a little crazy switching between google maps with the expo location and Spot Hero with the location of parking garage, and ended up making one right turn from the left lane to get to the parking garage.   The packet pickup  at the expo was very fast and easy.   It was a small expo with some booths selling running related merchandise.   Afterwards we had lunch near where we parked, headed back to my sister's house where my sister dropped me and my wife off at a church near her for the 5:00 pm mass.   As we were walking back from mass to my sisters house my brother-in-law and nephew who were returning from there Rugby tournament saw us and gave us a lift the remaining way back to their house.  My nephew's team won 2 out of 3 games with him scoring twice which is called a "Try" in rugby parlance .   Since my sister didn't have a TV channel that carried the Duke-NC semi-final basketball game, I was able to log into my cable streaming service on my laptop and watch in bed what ended up being a great game. 

The Cherry Blossom race organizers had warned participants in emails that parking was going to be difficult Sunday morning for the race and recommended using Spot Hero to make a parking reservation in advance.  So I made an advanced parking reservation with Spot Hero that had me parking about a mile from the race start area at the Washington Monument.   The plan was that I would drive myself to the race and park, while my wife and sister would later come see me finish the race.   Sunday morning at 6:00 am there was not much traffic but I missed a couple of exits before I was able to maneuver back near the location of my Spot Hero parking reservation.   Before I got to the location of my parking reservation I notice that the parking spaces on the streets were nearly empty and with parking free on Sunday's in DC found a parking space on the street a little nearer to the to the start than my Spot Hero reservation.   I also was able to cancel my Spot Hero reservation while walking to the start area.   

After using the porta potty and dropping off my stuff at the gear drop I headed to the start corrals.   A woman next to me in the corral asked me to take a picture of her with the Washington Monument in the background and we started talking a found out that she was from Bethesda, had previously done some triathlons.  For the race I wore my red 2013 Detroit Marathon shirt that said DETROIT on the back, and just as our corral wave started to move forward a young woman indicated that the Detroit Marathon was her favorite marathon and I learned that she had grown up in Royal Oak, MI where I am from. The race was very crowded for me the whole race, probably more so for me since I was back in the race pack, but I received plenty of encouragement with people saying "Go Detroit".  




The race itself was pretty uneventful for me using my run/walk strategy and I enjoyed running through the Cherry tress along the race course.   As it happened my wife and sister arrived at the race finish area before I finished (I had installed the Cherry Blossom race app on my wife's phone so she could track my location during the race), but they didn't see me finish since it was so crowded with runners and they didn't know what I was wearing.   I ended up finishing in a little under 2 hours and after the race my foot with the bursitis was somewhat sore, maybe a 2 or 3 out of 10, but it felt pretty good the next day.   All in all a very enjoyable race.


Edited by Run2BFit

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