Cherry Blossom 13 Years Later

So I’m running Cherry Blossom 10 mile (#CUCB) on Sunday. The last time I ran this race was in 1999. I was 26 years old and 6 months away from getting married. I ran a PR – 1:15 – which I actually held until last year, when I ran 1:11 at Army Ten Miler (#ATM)! Here I am in the final mile…this was back in the day when heel striking was good for you. 😉

Nice heel strike and short shorts

I don’t have huge aspirations of besting my ATM time, since I’ve had a little glute and hammy trouble lately, but I really hope I run faster than 1:15. 🙂

Why haven’t I run CUCB in 13 years? I actually ran it 3 years in a row, and each year it seemed to get more crowded and more difficult to get to. I decided I was done with crowds and big races for a while. But since then, the start has moved from Ohio Drive to a more accessible location near the Mall and wave starts (6 starts of 2,500 runners, 3 – 5 minutes apart) have been implemented. Back when I ran the race there weren’t even corrals. So I’m hoping for a better experience, although I realize it will still be crowded. Mind you, I had an awesome ATM experience last October and I think there were 20,000 runners there.

I was just reading the race instructions and thought I should point out that “There will be 180 porta-johns throughout the staging area. Please do not urinate anywhere else. We are guests in a National Park. Several years ago runners “relieved themselves” on the FDR Memorial which was an embarrassment to the race organizers and nearly caused our permit to be revoked.” That is an outrage! I really can’t believe that they only have 180 porta-johns for 15,000 runners!  One advantage of the old start was that you could just “go” along the Potomac, although one time I realized I was right under a bridge and all the people on the bridge were looking down at me…

OK, moving on swiftly…

This will be my first time running Cherry Blossom as a member of Potomac River Running’s Racing Team, although I’ve been a team member for just over a year. I was in VA Beach for Shamrock Marathon last year when I got an e-mail from Cathy Pugsley (Thanks to Ecris Williams, who recommended me) inviting me to join the team. At first I thought it was a mistake and responded that I wasn’t sure I was PR race team caliber, but Cathy asked to see my PRs and told me I was good enough to join the Age Group Team! I was on cloud nine and ran a PR in the marathon that weekend!

Potomac River Running is an incredibly supportive and generous sponsor, and asks for little in return. In addition, they’re a great supporter of races in our community. In fact, there will be an offer from PRR on the back of the Cherry Blossom bib, so if you’re running the race, check your bib. (While you’re there, fill out the medical information. You wouldn’t believe how few people complete this, and how critically important it can be.)

I’m very proud to wear the =PR= singlet! (Apologies to PRR for sometimes looking like a dork in it…at least I don’t heel strike any more!)

With Claudia Centeno and =PR= Coach Tracy Endo


Are you running Cherry Blossom? First timer? Multiple-timer?

What do you love/hate about this race?

What do you think about the porta-potty situation? 



  1. I LOVE this race (it’s my 10-mile PR, of course!). I’m so sad I’m not running it this year. Back when I first came back from injury, I didn’t think I’d want to give up training time for Boston by running it. Now I regret it! All my friends are going, the weather will be great, the blossoms are somewhat in bloom. Next year!

    Good luck to you!
    misszippy1 recently posted..Five for FridayMy Profile

  2. I work for the portable restroom company that is supplying units for this race, and I know for a fact they ordered 238. 🙂

    There are also a ton of units all around the tidal basin that are for tourists for the Cherry Blossom festival, so hopefuly that will cover it.

  3. Good luck on Sunday, the weather looks like it will be cooperative too!! Dash & I will be on your left somewhere on around mile 5 snapping pics, we’ll look for you!

  4. I’m so jealous of all those who ran the Cherry Blossom!! I’ve been reading recaps everywhere lately and it just seems like a must experience race!!

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