Tag Archives: spring

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!


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)

Race Recap Party!

lincoln memorial runners
Having fun at Mile 1

What’s better than running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run or 5K? Reliving the fun by writing a race recap and reading other excellent race recaps!

To make the fun last a little longer, we’re hosting the first ever race recap link party here on the blog. Add your race recap here and make sure you check out the other great posts.

We want to hear from both 10 mile runners and 5K runners, veterans and first-timers, volunteers and spectators – ANYONE who has memories to share!

We’re accepting blog links until May 16, 2014, so make sure you click on the blue “Add Your Link” box.
[inlinkz_linkup id=395332 mode=1]

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!