Tag Archives: Race Day

Bring Some Good Luck to Your Race

Good Luck Box is teaming up with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to bring you an extra shot of luck the week before the race. What is a Good Luck Box? It’s a selection of handpicked items from running experts to give you the edge before, during, and after an upcoming race. Boxes are tailored to the recipient and their race. In the case of the Cherry Blossom box, the contents will be specially chosen with a cherry blossom theme. Continue reading Bring Some Good Luck to Your Race

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!

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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Very Important Volunteers

Did you know it takes more than 2,000 volunteers to organize the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run?

No doubt about it, volunteers are the fuel that keeps the 43-year-old DC racing tradition running smoothly.

Volunteers are so important to the success of the race, the organizers throw in some serious perks to thank everyone involved. The most sought after? A guaranteed entry for the next year’s race. So if you love all things Cherry Blossom and had hoped to kick off your spring running season with the Credit Union race, have no fear! Volunteer, and you won’t have to go through the pins-and-needles, hand-wringing lottery process. (We’ve lost one or two nights of sleep crossing our fingers to get in around lottery time).

CUCB lottery
Cross your fingers!

So I talked to Nita Lalla Roncone, the volunteer coordinator to find out what you need to know about volunteering for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

Roncone says there are more than 50 spots left for volunteers, scattered over four days and two states (plus the District of Columbia).

“Volunteers pick up elite athletes from the airport, direct runners from the metro, distribute t-shirts, hand out water, organize runner-bibs, sell merchandise, control the crowd, cheer the runners, and so much more,” Roncone says.

Roncone says the best part of being a volunteer is meeting the runners.

“Seeing them at the expo, after they have trained hard for this race and are gearing up for the big run, and then seeing the joy (and pain) on their faces after they conquer the distance and wrap themselves in a heat blanket… knowing that you were a part of the magic reminds our volunteers that we are all part of something bigger,” she says.

And for runners who got in? Don’t forget to thank the volunteers.

CUCB volunteer
Volunteers are VIPs!

“Volunteers are the foundation of the race,” Roncone says. “Can you imagine having a race without volunteers? There would be no water, no medals, no entertainment. You wouldn’t even know what your time is when you cross the finish line since there would be no one with a microphone to tell you the time. We have so many volunteers that you see – handing out t-shirts and race packets at the expo – and so many volunteers that you don’t see. Those are the ones who set up everything and take it all down. They make the magic happen: tents get set up, water stations are built, heat blankets are unloaded and distributed, as are bananas, water, and food.”

Not a runner? The entry is transferrable – and a great way to make a runner friend’s day. Convinced? Head on over and sign up here!

Oh and how could we forget? Volunteers also score a 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile long-sleeve volunteer t-shirt.

From the CUCB blog team, a huge THANK YOU to everyone to makes this incredible race what it is! See you on the course!


nataliediblasio blog

Natalie started running in the second grade and hasn’t stopped since. In her day job, she is a reporter on the breaking news team at USA TODAY. In the way-too-early mornings and shouldn’t-you-be-exhausted-by-now evenings she’s busy running, practicing yoga at her favorite studio, acting as President of the American News Women’s Club or writing for Run Washington, HalfMarathons.net and Runner’s Breakfast. Natalie is a chronically starving marathoner, loud laugher and wannabe triathlete in training for her first half Ironman in June.

Five Tips for a Flawless Race Day Experience

We are less than 1 day away from race day! Having done this a few times, we have learned a few tricks that can take your race day experience from fun to fantastic.

Here’s how you can have the best race day possible:

1. Download our Race App, RaceJoy. The App is FREE and has tons of great information. Get corral start times, bib lookup, and split times for runners (even if they don’t have their GPS on!) so you can meet up with your friends and family. You can download it on Google Play, the App Store, or by clicking here.

2. Get Valet Service. We are so excited to offer a bike valet service for those of you helping us go green this year by biking to the start. The folks at Two Wheel Valet  will park your bike for you, you don’t even need to bring your own lock, and you can leave your bag with your bike to skip bag check. You can find them on Independence Ave, between 14th and 15th streets.

3. Get Emergency Text Alerts. The National Park Service is offering an emergency text alert process specially for the CUCB. Text “10miler” to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts on race day, sent right to your phone.

4. Dress in Layers. It’s going to be a great day for racing! The temperature at the start will be in the mid to high 30’s, so you should wear extra layers while you are waiting for the race to begin to stay warm. You can discard them before you cross the start, and we will collect them to donate to charity. After the race we will have heat sheets, but you may want to bring a set of dry clothes to change into. You can pack them at bag check and get out of damp clothes after the race.

5. Get Just Enough Sleep. Go to bed on time tonight, and set multiple alarms. A frantic trip to the race because you overslept is less than ideal. Try to relax early tonight so you can put away the race jitters and fall asleep on time. Set more than one kind of alarm – if you have 3 alarms set on your phone but the battery dies overnight none of them are any good!

5 Tips For Your First 5K

I know a lot of people who are doing the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 5K Run-Walk will be running their first 5K. While a first race can be as intimidating as it is exciting, here are five tips for your first 5K that can help you have a great race day.

1. Get your race gear ready the night before. The night before the race, get all of your race gear together in one place–race bib and safety pins, clothes, running shoes, hat/visor, sunglasses, sports watch (if you’re using one), water bottle (if you’re using one), pre-race snack (I like to bring a granola bar to eat about 1/2 hour before the start), cell phone, and anything else you will need. If you plan to use the bag drop, use a fat permanent marker to label your bag with your name and bib number and consider putting a brightly colored bandanna in your bag to help make it easier to spot.

2. Don’t wear the race t-shirt to race in. There are people who think that you shouldn’t wear the race t-shirt until you’ve actually finished the race, but I think you’ve already earned the race shirt by signing up and training, no matter what happens on race day. Still, I suggest not wearing the race shirt on race day because hundreds (if not thousands!) of runners will be wearing the race shirt, which will make it hard for friends and family to spot YOU and cheer YOU on. Expect a chilly morning and dress in layers, and make sure you pin your bib on your inside layer or shorts/pants.

3. Arrive early.  The 5K starts at 8:40, but the elite women’s start is at 7:20 and the general 10 mile start is at 7:30, so if you want to be there for the opening ceremonies and singing of the National Anthem, you will want to be there early. Arriving early will give you time to get oriented with the start and finish areas, warm-up, soak up some pre-race energy from the other runners, and use the porta-pottys. 😉 There is not much (any?) parking around the Washington Monument, so the race organizers suggest taking Metro, which is another reason to leave yourself plenty of time. (Please see the Getting To The Race page for more information.)

4. Run your own race. After more than 10 years of running and racing, I still struggle with starting out too fast because I get caught up with all of the other runners who are starting out too fast! I use my Garmin to check my pace throughout a race, but in the beginning of a race I often need to make myself slow down. If you find yourself in a pack of runners going faster than you feel comfortable, slow down and run your own race. If this is your first 5K or your first Credit Union Cherry Blossom run, you’re going to set a personal record no matter what!

5. Relax and have fun! The Credit Union Cherry Blossom run really is a great event. You’ve done the work to get to the starting line, and race day is the time to relax and have fun. Enjoy the majesty of the monuments, the energy of the other runners and spectators, and the beauty of the cherry blossoms!


Good luck!


You can read more about Courtenay’s running and other adventures on her blog, Running With Perseverance, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Are you running your first 5K this spring?

Do you have any tips to add?