Cherry Blossom 10-Miler: Beat the Last

Almost every Saturday I meet a group to run 10 miles. Some days we clock in around just under an 8-minute pace; some days we take it a little bit easier, roll with the hills and maybe stick around an 8:15. I may not have been in to race this 10-miler, but I knew what an “easy” day should look like.

I also knew what my last Cherry Blossom 10-mile time was, raced right after our first marathon -  that had to be beat.


CB 10-miler Monument ViewCB 10-miler runners

There were no plans to meet the usual race-crew before we started – just afterward, at brunch – which made this feel less like a race, and more like a low-key Sunday morning run on the mall (aside from the whole “thousands! of other runners” thing). I arrived at the monument with plenty of time to spare, stand around, and get a “good” spot in my red wave (second wave to start). Runners piled in around me, and there was the reminder we didn’t need that this would be jam-packed.

Miles 1 – 5 were just that – hard to get a groove, but the wave seemed to be seeded well enough that we were all mostly on the same pace. I had no real plan of attack, other than to keep the feet moving just fast enough to show me “7:5x” when G beeped. The course consists of a few out n’ backs – out across Memorial Bridge, back around the traffic circle; out on Rock Creek Parkway, back underneath the Kennedy Center; out onto Independence, back on Independence.

While not ever described as “thrilling”, it is surely well-supported, entertaining and scenic! We didn’t catch the Cherry Blossoms in time for their fashionably early arrival this year – but Spring is here, in full green, and I love it.

Miles 6 – 9 take on the Haines Point loop, and that’s all you need to know. A long  loop along the Potomac river, with minimal crowd support because it’s a trek to get out there. We did have the “School of Rock!” join us for a performance – kudos to whoever thought of that idea! I caught the band on a Led Zeppelin cover, so, there was that.

The last mile presents the first real change in topography for the day – a hill! At the end! Our favorite, no? The beauty is that for a 10-miler, most people still have room to kick it in high-gear for this. The crowd is booming for you to run faster, get UP that incline and run yourself right over that Finish Line.

CB 10-miler 2012 results

1:21:xx Goal? Beat.

Official  Time 
(Thanks to the most entertaining results I’ve seen yet*)

1:17:51 – avg. pace 7:47
AG: 188 / 2746
Gender: 598 / 9658
*Ahead of 74% of all male runners, which I know thanks to this.

Now, the other reason we all got together for this year’s CB 10-miler? The traditional brunch – and to celebrate Ivan & Epod’s love for this particular event.

Front Page brunchCB 10-miler brunch
CB 10 miler brunch

Cheers! Next up: the Broadstreet 10-miler in Philly.



Filed under DC, race report, running, weekends

12 responses to “Cherry Blossom 10-Miler: Beat the Last

  1. Nicely done!! I love that the post-run brunch includes bottomless mimosas btw. i think every race should end that way. What motivation 😉

  2. Congrats on the race and beating your goal! The brunch sounds like the perfect way to cap it off!

  3. Kristin

    Great job Heather. I also hit a goal and I know tall the supportive fans helped!

  4. your race recaps are my favorite, and you are seriously such a speedster! proof to me that dedication to speed work & consistency with run groups (and being a lululemon run ambassador!) pays off to achieve those PRs. well, all that & the fact that you’re just a badass runner. I’m more in that let’s take it a bit easier 8:15 pace, but I also like to be pushed. 🙂 congrats on another awesome race!

  5. Why does DC like to end their races UPHILL??

  6. Holy macaroni! Every step you get better, unreal. Looks like an amazing race – minus the hill crap – don’t ever go to ATL:)

    I love a good post race celebratory meal and drink.

  7. I love those results! How fun!!! So was that a 10 miler PR for you?

    • Heather C

      Yes, by about 3 minutes. 🙂 Unintentional – but also haven’t “raced” a 10-miler in two years! So, it was outdated….

  8. Elizabeth

    Next year I’m joining you in red. Not because I’m fast, but because the jam-packed-ness of orange was driving me crazy.
    Yay for brunch and PRs!

  9. Congrats on the new PR! I think you’ll enjoy Broad Street, but it is also pretty crowded (at least it was last year).

  10. congratulations! and I can’t wait until you run broad street – bring your wheeled sneakers so you can just roll down the hill.

  11. You and your crew sure know how to celebrate post-race!

    This is one race I have to see for myself one day. Congrats!!! Smokin’ time for a “non-racing” effort.

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