Frequently Asked Questions for the In-Person Running on April 1 and April 2, 2023
The following are questions people often have about the Credit Union Cherry Blossom:
Questions on Registration and Lottery Notification:
How Do I Enter the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, 5K or Kids’ Run?
How Can I Be Notified of the Opening of the Ten Mile Lottery?
How Can I Be Sure to Receive Your Emails?
What is a “Lottery Group”? Is This Different From a Team?
When is my credit card charged in the Lottery?
My credit card was stolen and I was issued a new credit card. How can I update the information so that I do not lose my registration?
My registration information (spelling of name, sex, address) is incorrect. How do I change that?
I just bettered the projected race time I submitted with my registration. How can I get my record updated?
T-Shirts and Medals
Switch to 5K; Bib Transfers
Does the 10-mile race have a minimum age?
Does the 10-mile race have a time limit?
When does my race begin to be timed?
Can I wear ear pods?
Can I wear a camelback?
Are strollers allowed on the course?
How often are there water stations?
Will Metro be running on race day?
Is there a spot to leave a bicycle?
Where does the race start?
What neighborhoods are within walking distance of the Ten Mile race start?
Will I be able to leave a bag near the race start and retrieve it later?
Why Does My GPS Not Match the Course Measurements?
Questions on Registration and Lottery Notification
A: In-Person 10 Mile Run: The 10 Mile will be held on Sunday, April 2, 2023. The field will be filled by lottery. Prospective entrants will be able to register for the lottery starting on Thursday, December 1, and extending through 11:59 P.M. on Thursday, December 15 on the event website, www.cherryblossom.org. When registering, prospective entrants will complete and submit the entire entry form including the credit card information. However, credit cards will not be charged unless the applicant is selected. The entry fee for 2023 is $55 for the 10 Mile.
The Double Blossom: If you wish to enter BOTH races – the 5K presented by REI Co-op on Saturday, April 1, and the 10 Mile on Sunday, April 2, you will need to enter the 10 Mile lottery and indicate that you wish to gain entry into BOTH races. You will then be entered into the lottery and if you are successful, you will be entered into each race at that time (and your credit card will be charged for both races – $55 for the 10 Mile and $45 for the 5K, plus any ancillary items that you chose to purchase at the time of registration). If you are not successful in gaining entry into the lottery, your credit card will not be charged for either race. Any runner not accepted into the Double Blossom will be given an opportunity to enter the 5K a couple of days before 5K registration opens to the general public.
We will have a special “Double Blossom Half Marathon” medal available for purchase at the time of registration, as well as separate 5K and 10 Mile medals.
In-Person 5K: The 5K presented by REI Co-op will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023. Registration for those who wish to run only the 5K (not the Double Blossom) will be open – there will be no lottery. Registration for the 5K will open on Tuesday, December 20, 2023, and will remain open until the field limit of 5,000 participants is reached or until February 28, 2023, whichever comes first.
In-Person Kids Run: Registration is required for the 2023 Kids Run, but it will be held on a first-come first-served basis and will open on January 2, 2023. The Kids Run is limited to 500 entrants.
Every year we receive emails and calls from a number of people indicating that they are not receiving the emails we send out regarding race information. Since most of our communication regarding the race is done by email, including the dissemination of lottery opening, race confirmation and instructions, we would like to be able to reach as many of you as possible. So if you have not been hearing from us, or if you recently joined our mailing list and want to make sure you do hear from us, please read the information below carefully:
1. Is It Being Treated As Spam?
The most likely reason for this is that your email program or ISP is filtering out our emails as spam. What to do?
Check your Junk or Spam folder for emails regarding the Credit Union Cherry Blossom.
Your email host may send the email to your Spam folder, or it may never deliver our emails at all. Add the following email addresses to your “white list” or “safe senders” list or however your particular email program allows you to indicate particular email addresses that you want to receive email from:
2. Did You Ever Request Removal?
It might be that at some point in the past you were receiving emails from us, but decided that you no longer wanted to hear from us. If at any time in the last 5 years you clicked the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of any email and requested removal, or if you sent us an email requesting removal, then you have been permanently removed from our database. We use Constant Contact for sending out most of our race emails, and they have very strict anti-spam rules. If you requested removal at any time, there is absolutely no way that we can add you back in. This can only be accomplished by you, the user. If you suspect that this might be the case with your email address, please Click Here to Sign up again.
3. Perhaps We Just Don’t Have Your Email Address.
If you think we don’t have your email address, don’t worry. Just Click Here to sign up. As long as our emails aren’t being filtered as spam (see #1 above), or you have never requested removal from our list (see #2 above), you should receive our future emails with no problem.
A: Lottery Groups: The lottery will be able to handle “Lottery Groups” of up to 10 people. This is designed to allow families and other groups either to get into the race or not get into the race as a “Lottery Group.” Each “Lottery Group” has exactly the same chance of getting in as each single individual. The first person in a “Lottery Group” will set up the group, give it a name and register himself or herself as the first member of the Lottery Group. When subsequent members go to register, they will be able to affiliate with that “lottery Group” by using a drop down menu on the registration form. Please note that no additional members can be added to a “Lottery Group” after the lottery period closes. The “Lottery Groups” exist only for purposes of entering the lottery. Once the lottery is held, the “Lottery Groups” are disbanded.
Once the lottery is held and a Lottery Group is either all entered in the race or not entered into the race, the Lottery Groups dissolve and everyone runs their individual race. If your Group wants to enter into the Team Competition and compete as a Team, they must go through the team registration process, which willl open on February 1, 2023. Click Here for details on the Team Competition.
A: We charge your credit card once you are accepted into the race via the lottery.
A: Contact email@example.com and let them know that you need to update your credit card information.
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct information and we will make the change in the database.
A: Email email@example.com with the new information and we will make the change.
T-Shirts and Medals
A: Yes, but only until 11:59 P.M. on February 28. After that you will have to wait until the Expo and go to the t-shirt exchange there. We can’t guarantee the size that you want will be available. but it is the best place to try.
A: No, our race does not have finisher medals. Medals are an extra expense. Medals are available for purchase at registration and for a few weeks after registration ends. If we have leftover medals after the race, they are made available once again while supplies last.
A: Yes, but only through 11:59 P.M. on February 28 (a link will be posted on the website after the lottery closes for those who wish to purchase additional items until February 28). After February 28, if we have unclaimed medals they will be offered for sale on the website after race day. No enhanced medals may be ordered after February 28, and none are available after race day.
Switch to 5K; Bib Transfers
A: If you are entered into the 10 Mile Run and wish to switch to the 5K, a Race Switch Form will be posted on the website after the close of the lottery on December 15. There is no refund of the difference between the 10 Mile entry fee and the 5K entry fee.
Switching from the 5K to the 10 Mile is not allowed.
A: No, we do not offer refunds. However, you can transfer your entry in February during our Transfer Period. The runner who accepts your bib reimburses you for your registration expenses. The transfer process opens on February 1, 2023 and closes on February 28, 2023.
A: No, you do not.
A: The entire Transfer Process happens online. You can transfer your bib to a runner you know or post your bib availability on our website. The runner who accepts the bib reimburses the initial runner for his/her registration expenses. When you accept a bib you accept all the “add-ons” that the initial runner purchased. Click Here for Entry Transfer Information. No transfers will be permitted after 11:59 P.M., February 28, 2023.
A: No, there is not.
A: Packet Pickup for the 10 Mile is at the National Building Museum on Friday, March 31 from 3 PM – 8 PM and Saturday, April 1 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Packet Pickup for the 5K is at the National Building Museum on Friday, March 31 from 3 PM – 8 PM and at Freedom Plaza on Saturday, April 1 starting at 7:00 A.M.
A: You can have a friend get your packet. He/she will need a note from you (an email is fine) giving them permission to get your bib and shirt, and they should bring that note with them to packet pickup. Do not send the note to us here at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom; bring it with you to packet pickup.
A: Yes, you can. You will need notes from each runner giving you permission to do so (see above).
A: Yes. You must maintain a 14-minute-per-mile pace. If at the 5-mile mark you have not achieved that, you will be taken from the course. The National Park Service limits the time we can close the roads.
A: Your race time begins when you cross the start line.
A: No, for safety reasons we request that runners do not so that they can be aware of all of their surroundings.
A: Yes, you may.
A: No strollers are allowed in the 10-mile race. In the 5K race, you can bring one but you must start in the back.
A: Water and Gatorade Endurance Formula are available in the staging area and on the course at aid stations located at 2.5, 4.25, 6, 7.75 and 8.85 miles. Water is also available at the finish. Medical services are available at all these locations as well.
A: Metro will be open in time to take it to the race start for the 5K Run-Walk on Saturday, April 1 (Metro opens at 7 A.M.), but it will not be open in time to take it to the race start for the Ten Mile Run on Sunday, April 2 (Metro opens at 8 A.M. on Sunday), so you will have to find an alternative way to get to the Ten Mile race. (Click Here for transportation options). You will be able to use Metro for your return journey after both races.
A: Two Wheel Valet will provide a bike valet service on race day near the corner of 15th and Constitution Ave., NW. for the 10 Mile race on Sunday, April 2. You may drop off your bike starting at 6:00 A.M. and retrieve it after the race. This service is free to participants. NOTE: Bike Valet parking will close at 11:30 a.m. on race day, April 2, so please be sure to retrieve your bike by then! You may NOT leave any belongings attached to your bike. If you want to leave any belongings, you will need to place them in the clear plastic bag you will be given at packet pickup and then take it to your designated UPS bag check truck on race morning.
A: The 10 Mile starts on 15th Street between Constitution Ave. and Independence Ave. It is close to the Washington Monument. The 5K will start in Freedom Plaza (14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, adjacent to Pershing Park).
A: Downtown, Foggy Bottom, West End, Farragut Square, Dupont Circle and the eastern side of Georgetown.
A: Yes, there will be UPS trucks on the Washington Monument Grounds for 10 Mile Bag Check. Details on 5K Bag Check will be posted here soon. The clear bag you get at packet pick-up is the one you should use for all bag check.
A: Satellites are the cause for much of the error. GPS units calculate distance based on triangulation of readings taken from a series of fixed orbiting units, but the degree of accuracy depends on several factors.
GPS watches typically worn by runners can’t achieve the results obtained by survey- or military-grade units, which sometimes use two base units that can read the satellite signals at a higher degree of precision. Even the best commercially-available GPS unit is only accurate to about 12 feet at any given time, and can be hundreds of feet off in accuracy. Most units will indicate what their current accuracy is, and it can vary from 12 feet to 350 feet or more.
GPS units must have a clear view of at least three satellites to get a reading, and the more they can acquire, the more accurate they are. However, trees, buildings, and even a runner’s body can interrupt the signal, making it less accurate at any time.
Further, they only check their position periodically, not constantly. Some units check every second, some every 20 seconds. The user can sometimes set the unit to check at certain time or distance intervals, but if it has lost contact with the satellites, it can’t tell where it is, so it misses that checkpoint. So, if someone is running quickly, they may make a few turns while the unit doesn’t have contact, so that section will be measured incorrectly.
The other part of the equation is the way the runner ran the course versus the way it was measured. A certified course is measured along the Shortest Possible Route (SPR), a line that cuts all the tangents just one foot from the curb or road edge. Very few elite runners, with an unimpeded road available to them, tend to run that tightly. For those farther back in the pack, the crowd of runners around them makes this almost impossible, and possibly not worth the extra effort it would require to weave through the field to follow the SPR. Also, runners may start their watches before reaching the actual starting line and stop them after the finish.
These two factors are the primary cause for readings that don’t agree with the actual course distance. Tests performed by members of USATF’s Road Running Technical Council have found that runners usually will get a reading indicating the course is 1 percent long. (Several threads on the topic are available on the RRTC Bulletin Board at http://measure.infopop.cc/eve).
Strictly speaking, all certified courses are long, since a 0.01 percent Short Course Prevention Factor is added to ensure they don’t come up short and fail validation in case of a record, but that is probably not enough to explain the longer readings obtained by runners’ GPS units. The RRTC’s statement on GPS measurements is available at http://www.usatf.org/Products-/-Services/Course-Certifications/USATF-Certified-Courses/Certify-Your-Course/Statement-on-GPS-Use-by-Runners.aspx.