Sunday’s Cherry Blossom Ten Miler was definitely a race like no other. From the brisk, howling winds that kept us up all night, to the frigid temps that met us on the corner of 14th and Constitution, #THEY really didn’t want us to run.
Oh, but we were gonna run anyway.
Upon arrival to the National Building Museum on Saturday morning, we were greeted at the door by a man who looked just like Santa Clause (no joke – long white beard, red hat and everything.) “Runners, be prepared! Tomorrow morning there will be frigid temperatures, so make sure you dress warmly!”
Not letting that announcement scare us too much, we grabbed our bibs, posed for the camera and make our way back to where we started.
But then, the organizers of the race sent an email about the harsh weather conditions that were going to greet us at the starting line the next morning:
1:58 PM – Based on high wind warnings of expected wind gusts in excess of 50 mph, and in the interest of the safety of our runners and volunteers, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run is implementing a range of race day adjustments.
Wind gusts of 50 miles per hour? And we’re supposed to run without getting blown into the Potomac? HOW SWAY?!
Those “race day adjustments” including canceling the kids’ race, taking down all on-course signage and nixing the post-race ceremony.
Just a preliminary caution, I thought. Maybe they’ll cancel the race because they really care about our safety as runners.
Nope, they didn’t. As comfortable as my bed felt at 5:55 on Sunday morning, I pulled myself out from under the covers, dressed warmly and headed downtown.
After a short prayer and a few stretches with the crew, I walked to the starting line and hyped myself up to run these 10 miles.
The course, while familiar and flat, for me was a bit difficult at times. The wind was something I really wasn’t prepared for, and it took me about 3 miles to really find my groove. But as I approached mile five, I knew that I would get the energy boost that I needed.
There’s something particularly special about the DRC Cheer Squad that I can’t fully put into words yet, but I know that I’m always grateful for them. Seeing familiar faces when you feel like giving up picks up your spirits and encourages you to dig deeper and keep pushing harder.
Even though I didn’t PR this race, I still found a way to enjoy the course (sans Cherry Blossoms) and run into friends along the way. Not to mention, the post-race turn up was the epitome of #SundayFunday.
iRunDRC because it’s family. Yes we come together to run miles, train for races and celebrate our athletic successes, but we also challenge and support one other in other facets of our lives. I’ve built friendships with individuals who I don’t think I would’ve met otherwise. I’m forever grateful for the camaraderie and proud to run with such an amazing group of people.