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Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Race Recap/Cross-dressing

Posted Apr 02 2012 7:00am
Welcome to the 2012 running of the DC Cherry Blossom 10-Miler!

Life ain't easy for a boy named Cheryl

Not wanting my pride to keep me from having some fun with 16,000 of my closest friends, I pinned the number to my shirt and headed for the National Mall.  I was pleasantly surprised to find myself among many cross-dressers like myself, with several men proudly wearing bibs with names like Chloe and Anita.  It was a very odd and awkward bonding moment amongst us.  Moving on.

Parking was a breeze, but things got super congested near the start.

This must be what a cow herd feels like
I was looking forward to running with my friend Skibba during the race, but I couldn't find her in the sea of humanity. I looked for her until the race actually started, and then I was forced to retreat to the end of the line.  In the picture above you can see the police car that marked the end of the race queue. I was so far back that it took nearly 25 minutes just to reach the start line.

Best. Starting line. EVER.
Nowhere to pass!
We ran past the Lincoln Memorial...

and onto Memorial Bridge toward Arlington Cemetery

I started using sidewalks and grass to avoid some of the crowd

The Watergate and Kennedy Center in the distance

Slowing down allowed me to appreciate the statues

Mile 6.5. It stayed like this until the end.
The race was well staffed, and there were plenty of water stops.  Unfortunately, they were so busy that getting to the tables was a struggle.  I ended up only stopping at one around mile six, and I only did that because I figured I needed to hydrate to avoid a bonk.

Honestly, there were just too many people in a small space for my taste.  The race was fun, don't get me wrong, but I think I would rather run a smaller half marathon than enlist for another large race like this again.  Another issue: the CB10 had a sad lack of cherry blossoms.  They really need to start moving the race date up if they want to keep up with global warming.

The only cherry blossoms at the CB10. No kidding!
For all of my gripes, there were some positives.  First, any time you can run in DC it's a pretty cool experience.  There is just nothing else like it.  Second, I loved the DJ and woman at mile 7.5 who were rocking out to songs like "I Will Survive." Gloria Gaynor was just the shot in the arm I needed at that moment.  Third, I loved the spectator who was banging the gong along the course.  It was a very deep and calming sound, and I thought it was cool that he moved around for max effect.  Finally, the finisher's medal was pretty nice.  I gave it to my little girl for being such a big help and all-around good kid!
My little gold medalist!

After the race I finally found Skibba and her daughter.  They had found another one of our friends, KJ (her race recap is much better than mine! ) and we all headed out for an awesome brunch at Founding Farmers (if you're ever in DC you need to try this place, it is worth the hour long wait for a table).  We sat around and told war stories, enjoyed the food and had an all-around awesome time.  We even discussed the idea of a Ragnar Relay, because locking ourselves in close proximity in a van for 200 miles sounds like an awesome idea while enjoying eggs benedict in a fancy restaurant.

Once the meal was over we said our goodbyes and I went back to my car.  I took pictures of a few of the sights from my cooldown walk back to the truck:

The White House is a great place to protest apparently. Who knew?

If protesting isn't your thing, you can always try street hockey.
Seriously, what could possibly be more American than street hockey being played 100 yards away from protestors and the White House?  I love this place!

I parked my car near here; who would mess with a car in front of the FBI?

As far as running was concerned, Cheryl had a decent day.  She was able to maintain an 8-minute pace, broke 1:20, and ran the last mile in 6:45.  Also, she had negative splits and passed 3,173 runners in the last five miles.  Still, she wonders how she might have done if she had been in an appropriate corral to start and had not been taking pictures along the way; she also wonders who the five people who passed her were, because she doesn't remember seeing them!

The race has a cool results page
Overall, the CB10 was a fun race and worth the price of admission, at least once.  Personally, I think I'll stick with smaller races in the future, but I would still recommend that anyone give this race a try if they get the chance!
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