This past weekend Mathis and I both ran the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. We entered the lottery for this race back in December, and it's something that we had been looking forward to for a long time. On Saturday we headed to the race expo to pick up our bibs and race packets. The expo was very well organized, and we got our bibs and t-shirts without any waiting in line. The t-shirts were really nice. I ended up buying another race shirt that I'm very excited to have. Another cool thing about the expo was the fact that they were handing out free posters in honor of the 40th anniversary of the race.
On Sunday morning we woke up bright and early. I had set several alarms and had also woken up several times throughout the night ready to go. We ate our breakfast, and headed out the hotel for the metro. The metro was running two hours earlier that morning in honor of the race, and it was definitely the best way to get to the race. We jumped on a train, and it got pretty crowded as we got closer and closer to our stop. It was fun and exciting to be riding with so many runners -- I always love the camaraderie of running races. I snapped this picture once we arrived at the Smithsonian stop and you can see how many runners are getting off the train and up on to the escalator.
We walked a short ways to the starting line, and then Mathis and I parted ways. He was in the corral before me, and I knew that he would keep a faster pace. We picked out a place to meet up after the race, and I jumped in with everyone else in the orange corral.
I always love fun race outfits... :)
And we spotted a boxer!! Love these dogs :)
One of the best moments was hearing the national anthem sung before the start -- everyone was so quiet and it was such a solemn moment. It wasn't long before I got to cross the starting line, and we were off!
I took a lot of pictures during this race. I love being able to do this, and it's always a lot of fun for me to remember the day. It was pretty cloudy that morning, but the weather was great for running. I hadn't planned on wearing my jacket but I was glad I had it. It was in the 40s, and I love this running weather.
After starting near the Washington Memorial, the next memorial I spotted on the course was the Lincoln Memorial.
There were certainly a lot of runners, but I never felt too crowded. I was always able to find my own 'space', and I always love being around so many other runners. If you look closely in this next picture you can see the Lincoln Memorial on the left and the Washington memorial on the right. This picture was taken while running back over the Potomac River.
Early on in the race we saw the mens winners, and there was a lot of cheering for them. It was crazy to know that they were close to finishing while I was just getting started. :)
I kept a nice easy pace for this race. For some reason I didn't feel the need to push myself. I just wanted to enjoy each moment. I stayed around an 11 minute pace, and this felt really good to me. In this next picture we were approaching the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin.
Most of the cherry blossom trees looked like the trees in the background of this next picture... green leaves.
BUT there was a handful of 'late' bloomers on the course, and I was delighted to see them. These trees are SO beautiful, and my foggy iPhone pictures do not do them justice.
There was a lot of great volunteer and spectator support along the race. My two favorite signs of the day were: "You trained for longer for this race than Kim Kardashian's marriage." and "Worst parade ever." :)
The miles went by quickly (as they always seem to do) and it wasn't long before I remember looking down at my Garmin and seeing only half a mile left. There was a slight incline at the end, but the rest of the course was beautifully flat. I crossed the finish line, and my legs were certainly sore.
I found Mathis quickly, and we made our way over to the medals tent. It was optional to purchase a medal, and I'm so grateful we did. This is hands down one of our favorite medals.
Mathis had a great race and took away a PR by keeping a 9 minute pace. He loved the course and told me that this was definitely one of his favorite races we've run. It was special to run this race during the 40th anniversary of the race and the 100th anniversary of the overall Cherry Blossom Festival.
If you want to read about the other things we did in DC you can click over here to my other blog. This was definitely a great race and we hope to run it again one day.