Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

This year, I had the opportunity to race in the 40th Cherry Blossom 10 mile on April 1st in Washington D.C.  The race is part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the blooming of the 3,000 cherry blossom trees that were given to D.C. by Tokyo, Japan in 1912.  

Unfortunately, with the warm weather
the cherry blossoms bloomed a week or two before race weekend.
Photo by National Cherry Blossom Festival.

This year, almost 17,000 runners completed the 10 miler.  Pre-race interview by

Once again, I was number F8....once again spelling fate.  This time however, I took it one step further by finishing 8th place overall.  This was my first race back since the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, so I was looking to kick off spring racing with an effort outside of marathon pace.  I ended up settling into a pace too comfortable for the distance, but it was still a strong opener.

The start and finish of the race at Washington
National Monument.
Photo by Cheryl Harrison (my Mom).

Kevin of catching some pre-race footage.
Photo by Cheryl.

A lot of times, the elite runners are considering inspiring.  However, I met someone at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run who's story far out-shines our stories.  Meet Greg Wagner, who as a three-year old survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and stroke and has since gone on to complete five marathons, twice qualifying for the Boston Marathon (among many other accomplishments).  He was the poster child for Children's Hospital and paced this year's Children's Hospital representative, a 12 -year old cancer survivor, in the 5k.  Greg's story is a great example of how powerful not only the body is, but mainly the mind.

A finish line that won't stay empty for long.
Photo by Cheryl.

Finishing up. 8th place, 3rd American in 56:04.
Photo by Cheryl.

Top ten women receiving awards.
Photo by Cheryl.

It's always nice to race near home, so that my family can easily watch me race.  I was reminded though, that it's not just my family watching.  On the start line, I met a gentleman who has been following my career since high school.  Hopefully, I am still making my hometown proud!

A big thank you to Bill Orr, the Elite Coordinator, for making the weekend seamless and a pleasure.  I look forward to returning to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.   

To see more pictures of the race go to  

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