Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Race Recap: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

I must first start this post by thanking the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile race committee for selecting me as one of their social media runners. I had a lot of fun over these last few months and it was a tremendous honor to represent this event. To see and learn the amount of time, effort and logistics that go in to making this race possible was very eye opening. So, to everyone on the CUCB race committee, thank you for all you do. It is much appreciated!

The race weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon when the expo opened. I headed over after I got off of work and met up with Molly, who manages all of the CUCB social media accounts. We walked around the expo floor and chatted with some of the exhibitors. The expo was held at the National Building Museum and out of all the race expos I've attended, it is definitely the most unique venue.

Saturday, I spent of most of my day at the expo again, but the real highlight was attending the pre race VIP dinner. Many of the elite athletes were in attendance. Dinner was preceded by an open bar reception. I have no qualms about consuming adult beverages the night before a race and helped myself to a couple delicious beers.

During dinner, a short video played that showed clips from previous Cherry Blossom runs. Following the video, Phil Stewart (the race director) delivered a short speech. Also, a check was presented to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the amount of $487,000! Over the course of the Children's Miracle Network Hospital's involvement with CUCB, 6 million dollars has been raised. Amazing! The evening wrapped up around 8:30 as the many athletes and race committee members in attendance needed to grab some much needed shuteye before the big day. I guess I needed to go to bed, too.

Pre Race Dinner
Social Media Team with US Elite Runner Tyler McCandless
After the horrible weather we had the weekend prior, the weather gods were on our side on race day. There was not a cloud in the sky as the sun rose over the start of the 42nd running of the CUCB 10 Mile. A friend and I took advantage of the free bike valet service provided by Two Wheel Valet and rode our bikes to the start. After catching up with Molly and some of my friends, I checked my bag and headed to my corral.

Hanging with friends before the start
My race goal was to PR. My previous 10 mile PR was set in 2012 at CUCB where I ran a 1:17:14. As a secondary goal, I was hoping to run a sub-1:15. I knew that if I could maintain a 7:30 pace, it was possible. My tempo runs leading up to race made me confident that I'd be able to run that pace. The race started without a hitch, but as with any race where you have thousands of runners around you, it was hard to find a clear running path the first couple of miles.

I tried not to stress too much about my pace and clicked off my first mile in 7:42. Once we reached the Memorial Bridge, I took advantage of the clear sidewalks to avoid the larger crowd of runners on the road. I was able to extend my stride and settle into a nice rhythm. I ended up running mile 2 in 7:16. Thinking that was a little too ambitious of a pace that early on, I tried to slow it back down, but my legs weren't having any of it.

By mile 4, the congestion on the course had improved greatly and my pace snuck down to around 7:10. In the back on my head I was wondering when I was gonna bonk. I knew I was going faster than I needed to, but this was the pace my legs wanted, so I didn't fight it.

Miles 6 through 9 is a part of the course many runners don't like, but I don't mind it. I think the loop around Hains Point is gorgeous and it's something I run (and bike) quite frequently while training. After rounding the tip of Hains Point, I decided to empty out whatever I had left in me and really push it to the finish. I ran mile 9 in 7:02. One mile to go!

Mile 10 was a blast as the crowd lining the streets started to pick up. For sure, their cheers helped turn my legs faster. Once the finish line came into view, I was in an all out sprint! Crossing the line I looked down at my watch and to my surprise I had beat my previous PR by almost 5 minutes! 1:12:35. I had also run my last mile in 6:48! I was beyond thrilled.

Finish Line
The entire CUCB race weekend was a total blast. To cap it off with a new PR was icing on the cake. Thanks again to the CUCB race committee for everything. This race is something I won't forget for a long time!

Garmin Upload


  1. That's awesome Doug! Congrats!! Great meeting you Saturday evening!