Monthly Archives: April 2015

Cherry Blossom Magic for Runners

Those cherry blossoms have a powerful effect on runners. One runner shared his special story with us!IMG_2858

 

My name is Pete Thomas, and I am happy to say that Victoria Davies agreed to my marriage proposal at the foot of the Washington Monument on the day of the Cherry Blossom race. We are both public charter school teachers in Northeast DC, and I live in Noma and Vic lives in Arlington. In terms of the proposal itself, I actually ran the 10 miler with the ring zipped into my runner’s belt/fanny pack that I typically use for energy gels- I hid it behind some GU packets to be extra inconspicuous.

Once I finished the race, I unzipped my pouch and made sure that the ring was secure (it was just a little bit sweaty) and then waited to cheer Victoria on near the finish line while I hid the ring in my hand. Once she finished the race, I walked up and gave her a big hug and made sure that she got a banana and some water (it’s important to be well-nourished and hydrated before making any big decisions) and then I asked her if she wanted to go up towards the monument so that we could get away from the port-a-potties and look at the cherry blossoms. She was at first a bit more intent on getting to the metro so that we could go get brunch, but I nervously managed to convince her that we should go check out the view of the Mall and the Tidal Basin before we left.

Once we got up close to the Monument on the Lincoln side from where we could get a pretty spectacular view of the city, I finally got down on one knee with the ring and asked her to marry me. She fortunately said yes, and after a few tears, selfies, and phone calls to our moms, we took a nice walk down the mall towards home. Since then, we’ve enjoyed our spring break from school by visiting Savannah and eating lots of delicious southern food that we’ll have to work off in future ten milers! We both had a great time running the race, and we are very happy to be able to look back at this awesome DC event as part of the beginning of our future together!

Sustainability and Going Green at Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

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Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day we’d like to highlight some of the efforts that the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race is making to ensure that it is a sustainable road race.

Over the past few years the CUCB race committee has recognized the importance of being an environmentally friendly event and has formed a dedicated sub-committee to manage these efforts. This committee manages a certification process through the Council for Responsible Sport  that recognizes athletic events that are going above and beyond to protect the environment in which they operate.  For the CUCB 10 Mile Race, this means making sure that event venues are environmentally friendly and that the National Parks grounds that the race course is run on remains clean and preserved for the future.

We couldn’t do any of this without continued support from runners and volunteers.  We had 22 amazing “Green Team” volunteers helping out on race day, to make sure that as much waste as possible was diverted from landfills and recycled or composted.  These volunteers worked hard to make sure that water bottles were recycled, banana peels were composted and that heat sheets were collected for “upcycling.”  We also collected 68 bags of clothing at the start line and donated them to Goodwill Industries.

The sustainability efforts of the CUCB 10 Mile race did not just happen on race day.  At the shoesSustainability Booth at the Health and Fitness Expo, we collected 195 pairs of gently used athletic shoes to donate to MORE Foundation Group.

We also partnered with TapIt to make runners aware of local establishments who would refill a water bottle for free.  This service makes it easier for runners and those out and about for the day to refill empty water bottles instead of throwing them away in purchasing water.

A free bike valet service was offered at both the Health and Fitness Expo and the race, and we arranged for Metro to open two hours early on race day.

While we’re happy with our progress, like any runner trying to beat a PR, we are continuing to plan to make the 2016 race an even greener and more sustainable race.  We welcome ideas from our runners and appreciate your feedback.

About the Authors:

Kim Nemire is the lead team member of CUCB’s dedicated sustainability committee.  She’s responsible for coordinating all the efforts of the sustainability of the race and affiliated events.  Currently, Kim is working on a goat farm in rural Illinois helping make goat milk soaps and goat cheese.

Anna Dengler is a member of the sustainability team.  She is responsible for coordinating outreach and communication efforts of the sustainability team’s mission.  She currently works at a software company in Baltimore.

Cherry Blossom Race Recap Party

For the past few months, we’ve been doing our best to motivate, encourage and inspire you to run your best race for The Runners’ Rite of Spring®. Now it’s your turn to share your race weekend experiences with us!

Race Recap Link UpIf you ran with us this weekend–or volunteered, or spectated–we want to hear about your experience. Whether it was your first time or your fifth, whether you ran 5k or 9.??, link up your blog post below or share your story in the comments.

CUCB 2015 Hains Point

It was the first time since 2007 that the blossoms were peaking on race weekend!

We’ll be keeping the link up open through April 30, so go ahead, take your Epsom salt bath or ice bath, get a massage, and bask in the glory of a race well run–and then come back and tell us all about it.

One way to say “thank you” for a great race is to make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. You can donate through the  Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Social Runners Team donations page here.

If you missed it, you can check out last year’s recap party here.

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Expo Vendors

The National Building Museum is a beautiful location for our Expo!
The National Building Museum is a beautiful location for our Expo!

We always seem to get a handful of requests for this post each year. There’s no creativity involved in writing it, but runners just love to have their Expo plan in place and ask about which vendors they can expect to see when they arrive at the Building Museum to pick up their packets.

 

 

So, without further ado, here’s who’ll be at the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Expo:

26.2 Publishing
316 Athletic Wear
American Running Camp
Baltimore Running Festival
BANDI Wear
BaySix
BeeCause Charms
Beyond Body Pads
Bondi Band
Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Charm City Run
Comfort One Shoes
Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Merchandise
Credit Union Cherry Blossom T-Shirt Exchange
Credit Union Miracle Day/Children’s Miracle Network
Dona Jo
Enovative Technologies
Feet First Sports
Fitletic
Fleet Feet Sports Annapolis
Flipbelt
Gold’s Gym
HB Tune – Cell Phone Holders
Hudson Trail Outfitters
Mamma Chia, LLC
McAdam Financially Advanced
Milestone Sports
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Running Center
Nations Triathlon
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy-Air Force Half Marathon & Navy 5 Miler
New Balance
New York Road Runners Team for Kids
Potomac River Running
PSCU
Ragnar Relay
Real Time Pain Relief
Real Time Pain Relief
REVERB
RUseeN Reflective APParel
Small Planet Food
Sparkly Soul, Inc.
State Farm
Suffolk County, Long Island Marathon
Sustainability Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run
Sweatwear Plus
Sweaty Bands
Team Z
Teens Run DC
The Lasik Vision Institute
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Ride to Conquer Cancer
The RooSport
The Stick
Total Athletic Comfort, Inc.
USA Sport Eyewear
USA Track and Field
Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon
Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon & 6K
Wyndham at National Harbor
Zooma Women’s Race Series

For more information about the Expo, how to get there, and how to pick up someone else’s packet, please visit the Expo page on our website.

Runner Spotlight: Jummy Olabanji

Jummy at the finish line of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
Jummy at the finish line of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Does Jummy look familiar to you? If so, you probably recognize her from Good Morning Washington or ABC7 News at Noon. Jummy and I have been twitter friends for a while and have run many of the same races. We even passed each other on the course of the Army Ten Miler in 2014! We finally met in person at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run kickoff party last November. 

 
When did you begin running and why? I began running in October of 2013 when I became involved with Girls on the Run (GOTR) through work. My station, ABC7, partnered with GOTR Nova on some events and I was so inspired by all of the young girls. They made me decide to take running more seriously.
What is your proudest running moment? My proudest moment has to be finishing my first half marathon, the Nike Women’s DC Half Marathon, in April of 2014. It was just 5 days after my 30th birthday.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? I ran it in 2014 for the first time! It was awesome!
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? I’m running to participate in, what I believe is, one of the best races in our nation’s capital. I am a spring baby and to me there is nothing better than running along the beautiful cherry blossoms. It represents a feeling of new beginnings and a fresh start!

What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? To beat my 2014 time by 10 minutes!
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? My pace, my race! I don’t like to get caught up in how many people finish ahead of me, or even behind me. My goal is always to cross that line and accomplish what I started.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? “GOAL-DIGGING”
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? I’m loving the New Balance Impact Hoodie. It’s the perfect piece to start the race with…mornings tend to be cold in early April.
 
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? Its partner hospitals provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the country! That’s awesome, what a great organization to support!

Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrich blog smallKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.

Runner Spotlight: Rainey Sewell, Cherry Blossom Queen

Did you know we’ll be running with royalty on April 12, 2015? Rainey Sewell, the reigning Cherry Blossom Queen, will be racing the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run with us! To check out the official cherry blossom events hosted by the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS), and see what all of the Cherry Blossom Princesses will be up to, like their Facebook page and follow their Instagram. You will get updates on anything and everything Cherry Blossom as well as see behind the scenes snapshots of what the Cherry Blossom Princesses and Rainey will be up to!
cherry blossom queen
Rainey Sewell, in her official Cherry Blossom Queen Regalia

 

What are your responsibilities as the reigning Cherry Blossom Queen? My main responsibility is to host the Japanese Cherry Blossom Queen and represent America’s friendship with Japan. I had an amazing time in Tokyo because of their Queen’s hospitality. Now it is my turn to host and show off America’s nation. We will be visiting embassies, attending the White House Easter Egg Roll, speaking at many events, and enjoying the D.C. sights.
 
Is it challenging to juggle running with your royal responsibilities? 
It can be difficult because once I’m all dressed up for an event I don’t want to get sweaty afterwards!
 
When did you begin running and why? I started running three years ago when I trained for my first race – the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon. My friends were all training for it and I figured I would join the fun. Now I’m hooked and plan to run the full marathon there at the end of the month.
What is your weirdest/funniest running moment? My coworker and I once got to a 5K thinking we were twenty minutes early, but it turns out we were ten minutes late. The funny part was it took us five minutes to realize no one else was there and that it started without us.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? I ran it last year for the first time and it brought me some cherry blossom luck because I won Queen later that week.
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Spring is finally here and it is time to enjoy the weather. This is the time to enjoy D.C. and forget all the bad things we said about the city during the long winter.
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Have fun and enjoy it.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? Just finish. Brunch is waiting.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Energy
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? I love their running shoes. I always buy pink shoes so I’m already ready to match the cherry blossoms that will be blooming during the ten mile run.
 
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? My favorite part of CMN is how they really are “for the kids.”  You don’t even feel like you’re in a hospital because there are so many colors and fun toys around you. The one in Oklahoma looks like an art museum with all the artwork and sculptures. Making the kids comfortable is the most important and CMN does a great job at that.

Run Your Best Race

The Cherry Blossom Festival is under way, and in just a few days we will be lining up at the Washington Monument getting ready to enjoy The Runner’s Rite of Spring®! Whether this is your first race, your first time doing the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, or your first race of 2015, we’d like to share our tips to help you run your best race.

Run Your Best Race

Now. Download the CUCB app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play (search for CUCB or Credit Union Cherry Blossom). The app will help you get the most out of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom experience, with a schedule and maps for all weekend events, live results, real-time tracking, bib-look-up, and Run Pix results.

If you haven’t already, set your goals for the race. It’s great to have three different goals: a time/pace goal (like finishing under 90:00), an achievement goal (like running the whole way) and an ego goal (like finally take a great finish line photo).

Consider making a donation to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. You can donate through my donations page here or look up the donation page for another runner here.

children's miracle network hospitals
Give a miracle!

Thursday. Elite runners have been watching their diets for weeks, but the rest of us can at least try to make healthy choices in the days leading up to the race. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day so you are fully hydrated come Sunday.

Friday. Visit the expo, which is open from 3:00 – 7:45 pm on Friday. Get your bib, your official race t-shirt, shop for more official Credit Union Cherry Blossom apparel, browse the other vendor booths and attend motivational and informational clinics. Take time to listen to the guest speakers, ask questions and get autographs. The energy of the event will get you excited for race day!

Saturday. If you didn’t go Friday, make sure you get to the expo, which is open from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm on Saturday. (There is no packet pick-up on Sunday.)

If you are from out of town, you probably will want to do some sightseeing, but don’t overdo it! You don’t want your legs to be too tired on Sunday.

Review the course maps with your spectators and decide where they should be. There are usually big crowds along Independence Avenue, but Hains Point can get pretty lonely. Make sure they know what you will be wearing so they can spot you easily to cheer you on.
 

Plan an early dinner. This is probably not the best time to try that new ethnic place you’ve been hearing about, but Elizabeth swears by steak with blueberry sauce from Aqua Al 2 in Eastern Market, while Natalie suggests dinner at the Georgetown waterfront.

Lay out all of your clothes and gear, from your hat and sunglasses to your socks and shoes. Make sure your GPS watch is charged, your water bottle is ready to go, and you’ve picked out any fuel you plan to carry. Remember, you don’t want to be trying anything new on race day. Even your underwear should be tried and true. Many runners go commando, but if you are more comfortable in underwear, you don’t want to find out the hard way which pair will give you a wedgie from mile 2 to mile 10. 😉

Get to bed early and make sure your alarm(s) are set correctly!

cucblogo

Sunday. Get up early enough to leave plenty of time to get ready and get to the race venue. Have breakfast or bring something to eat before the race.

At the race venue, take advantage of the pre-race warm-up, and scout out the finish area to plan where you will meet your family and friends. Check your bag early – it will be less stressful and give you time to relax before the race starts.

If you feel lost or confused, ask a volunteer for help! They will help point you in the right direction and ease your pre-race jitters.

Line up with your corral, and soak up the experience. There is something so moving about listening to the National Anthem at the base of the Washington Monument with 15,000 other runners.

Once the race starts, try to stay in the moment and enjoy the mile you are in! This is such a beautiful course–don’t be so focused on your pace that you forget to look around and enjoy it. It looks like the cherry blossoms could be in peak bloom this weekend, which would be spectacular!

As you approach the finish line, make sure you are smiling–no matter how hard you are pushing yourself! Pain is temporary, put race photos are forever. 😀

… and keep moving through the finish area, grab a water bottle and post for a post-race picture. If you ordered a medal, don’t forget to pick it up!

Celebrate your finish! You deserve it!

After The Race. We will be hosting a Race Recap Link-Up, so if you write about your race experience on your blog, be sure to come back here and link up your post!

~ The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Social Media Team
(Coco, Elizabeth, Kim, Malinda, Molly, Natalie)

Runner Spotlight: Jen Hill

Jen finishing “Run With Santa,” her 11th 5k for 2014
Jen finishing “Run With Santa,” her 11th 5k for 2014

Jen and I met during Potomac River Running 101 training in 2013. She ran her first race ever just days after I met her. She was nervous but determined. Then, in 2014 she set a goal to race 40k before she turned 40. She met and exceeded that goal, and in 2015 she has her mind set on conquering new distances – ten miles under the Cherry Blossoms (and I predict a half marathon won’t be far behind)!

 
When did you begin running and why? I began running in the summer of 2013. I started earlier in the year with walking/hiking on the Reston trails, trying to be more active. It was a natural (and a very surprising!) evolution.
What is your proudest running moment? The proudest is probably when I finished my very first race – the 2013 Dulles Day 5k: On the Runway. I was scared to death for days leading up to the event and kept doubting my ability. The second proudest was the 2014 =PR= Birthday Bash. It was hot, humid and the most miserable I’ve ever been while running. I came in dead last, but I never gave up! Can I have a third? Actually, this ties with first place for my proudest moment. I set a goal for 2014 to run 40k by 40 – eight races by August. I completed that goal a month early and surpassed it with a total of 11 5k races for the year.
Why did you sign up for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Training Program with Potomac River Running? =PR= is awesome! The coaches’ passion for running is contagious. And skipping the lottery is certainly a bonus.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? Nope.
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Who wouldn’t want to run on such a beautiful course? This race will take me to the next level in my training and running it will be an incredible reward for all the hard work leading up to it.
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? To finish strong while enjoying every single step.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? Don’t trip. 🙂 You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. I came across this quote at the beginning of my journey and it fit perfectly. It’s stuck with me and is the perfect reminder that I am great!
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Awakening
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? =PR= training participants received $50 New Balance gift certificates, and I’ve got my eye on the Glow Beacon Jacket.
 
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? I had no idea that 1 in 10 kids are helped each year.  That’s a lot of healing, good job Children’s Miracle Network!

Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrich blog smallKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.