FAQs

 Frequently Asked Questions for the In-Person Running on Sep. 12, 2021

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?
When the Race Was Cancelled in 2020, I opted to get a Guaranteed Entry for 2021. How do I get that entry?
How Can I Be Notified of the Opening of the 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

Can I change my t-shirt size?
Do all runners get medals?
I didn’t order a medal, can I get one?

Switch to 5K; Bib Transfers

How do I change to the 5K?
I was accepted in the lottery but cannot run in April. Can I get a refund?
Do I have to know a particular runner to transfer my bib?
How does the Transfer Process work?

Race Cancellation Due to COVID-19

What if the in-person race is cancelled due to COVID-19 after I have registered?

Packet Pickup

Is there packet pick-up on race day?
Where and when is packet pick-up?
What if I cannot pick-up my packet?
Can I pick up multiple race packets?

Race Day

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 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

Q: How Do I Enter the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, 5K or Kids’ Run?

A: In-Person Run: The In-Person event will be held on Sunday, September 12, 2021. The field will be filled by lottery. Prospective entrants will be able to register for the lottery starting on Tuesday, June 1 and extending through 11:59 P.M. on Wednesday, June 30 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 fees for 2021 are $50 for the Ten Mile and $40 for the 5K Run-Walk. (Please note that pre-registration is required for the 2021 Kids’ Run, but it will be held on a first-come, first-served basis and will open in mid to late June 2021. The Kids’ Run is limited to 500 entrants.)

Q: When the Race Was Cancelled in 2020, I opted to get a Guaranteed Entry for 2021. How do I get that entry?

A: You should have received an email on May 26 with your Guaranteed Entry Link, which will allow you to register for the 2021 race at the prevailing entry fee. For full information on Guaranteed Entry Links, Click Here. If you did not receive an email with your Guaranteed Entry Link, please send an email to info@cherryblossom.org with details of the problem, and we will be sure that you are sent the link to enter. If you are not sure if you requested a Guaranteed Entry when the race was cancelled in 2020, you can Click Here to check your status.

Q: How Can I Be Notified of the Opening of the Lottery?

A: Click Here to Sign up for the 2021 Lottery Notification List

Q: How Can I Be Sure to Receive Your Emails?

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.

Q: What is a “Lottery Group”? Is This Different From a Team?

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. Lottery Groups may consist of runners entered in both the 10 Mile and the 5K Run-Walk. The event the runner who creates the Lottery Group registers for will determine if the Lottery Group is entered into the 10 Mile Run or 5K Run-Walk lottery. If the Lottery Group is accepted into the race, then each individual Lottery Group member will then be entered into the race that they, as an individual, signed up for.

Example: Runners A, B and C decide to try to enter as a Lottery Group. Runners A and C want to run the 5K Run-Walk, and Runner B wants to enter the 10 Mile. Runner A creates the Lottery Group ABC. Runners A, B and C then fill out the registration form for the race of their choice, selecting the Lottery Group called ABC from the drop down menu when they register. Because Runner A set up the Lottery Group and registered for the 5K Run-Walk, the Lottery Group is entered into the 5K Run-Walk Lottery. When the Lottery drawing is done, Lottery Group ABC is selected, and Runners A and C are officially entered in the 5K Run-Walk, and Runner B is entered into the 10 Mile Run.

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 typically opens in late January. Click Here for details on the Team Competition.

Q: When is my credit card charged in the Lottery?

A: We charge your credit card once you are accepted into the race via the lottery.

Q: 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?

A: Contact registrationhelp@marathonguide.com and let them know that you need to update your credit card information.

Q: My registration information (spelling of name, sex, address) is incorrect. How do I change that?

A: Email info@cherryblossom.org with the correct information and we  will make the change in the database.

Q: I just bettered the projected race time I submitted with my registration. How can I get my record updated?

A: Email info@cherryblossom.org with the new information and we will make the change.

T-Shirts and Medals

Q: Can I change my t-shirt size?

A: Yes, but only until 11:59 P.M. on July 31. 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.

Q: Do all runners get medals?

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.

Q: I didn’t order a medal, can I get one?

A: Yes, but only through 11:59 P.M. on July 31 (a link will be posted on the website after the lottery closes for those who wish to purchase additional items until July 31). After July 31, if we have unclaimed medals they will be offered for sale on the website after race day. No enhanced medals may be ordered after July 31, and none are available after race day.

Switch to 5K; Bib Transfers

Q: How do I change to the 5K?

A: If you are entered into the 10 Mile Run and wish to switch to the 5K Run-Walk, fill out the Race Switch Form, which will be posted after the Lottery results are posted on July 7, 2021. There is no refund of the difference between the Ten Mile Run entry fee and the 5K Run-Walk entry fee. Runners entered into the 5K Run-Walk cannot switch to the 10 Mile Run.

Q: I was accepted in the lottery but cannot run in September. Can I get a refund?

A: No, we do not offer refunds. However, you can transfer your entry in July during our Transfer Period. The runner who accepts your bib reimburses you for your registration expenses. Of course if the race has to be cancelled due to increased COVID-19 restrictions, you will have the option of getting a refund. Details of the transfer process will be posted here.

Q: Do I have to know a particular runner to transfer my bib?

A: No, you do not.

Q: How does the Transfer Process work?

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. The new runner also pays a $15 administrative fee to handle the transfer. Details on the Transfer Process will be posted on the website in July.

Race Cancellation Due to COVID-19

Q: What if the in-person race is cancelled due to COVID-19 after I have registered?

A: While nothing can be completely certain with COVID-19, it appears that there will be a vaccine in wide enough distribution for the event to take place safely in-person in September. We will continue to monitor the situation to make sure that the race can proceed in a safe manner. If we decide the race cannot proceed safely due to COVID-19, we will offer several options to runners, including a full refund of your race entry fee. Click Here for the race policy on cancellation due to COVID-19.

Packet Pickup

Q: Is there packet pick-up on race day?

A: No, there is not.

Q: Where and when is packet pick-up?

A: At the National Building Museum on Friday, September 10 from 3 PM – 8 PM and Saturday, September 11 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Q: What if I cannot pick-up my packet?

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.

Q: Can I pick up multiple race packets?

A: Yes, you can. You will need notes from each runner giving you permission to do so (see above).

Race Day

Q: Does the 10-mile race have a minimum age?

A: No.

Q: Does the 10-mile race have a time limit?

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.

Q: When does my race begin to be timed?

A: Your race time begins when you cross the start line.

Q: Can I wear ear pods?

A: No, for safety reasons we request that runners do not so that they can be aware of all of their surroundings.

Q: Can I wear a camelback?

A: Yes, you may.

Q: Are strollers allowed on the course?

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.

Q: How often are there water stations?

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.

Q: Will Metro be running on race day?

A: Metro will not open early enough to get to the race; you will have to use an alternative method of transportation (drive, Uber, Lyft, bicycle valet)

Q: Is there a spot to leave a bicycle?

A: Two Wheel Valet will provide a bike valet service on race day near the corner of 15th and Constitution Ave., NW. 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 11, 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.

Q: Where does the race start?

A: On 15th Street between Constitution Ave. and Independence Ave. It is close to the Washington Monument.

Q: What neighborhoods are within walking distance of the race start?

A: Downtown, Foggy Bottom, West End, Farragut Square, Dupont Circle  and the eastern side of Georgetown.

Q: Will I be able to leave a bag near the race start and retrieve it later?

A: Yes, there will be UPS trucks along Constitution Ave. for that purpose. The clear bag you get at packet pick-up is the one you should use.

Q: Why Does My GPS Not Match the Course Measurements?

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.