Sunday, April 05, 2009

The 2009 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run

This morning I took my life in my hands and hauled Agnes out of bed at the unheard-of (for her) hour of 4:00 AM. She, along with a large group of fellow workers from her credit union, had volunteered to work at the 2009 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run, held in conjunction with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival here in Washington, DC. We met the others at our local metro station at 5:00 AM and rode into town to the volunteers' staging area on the National Mall.

The sun was just thinking about coming up over the Capitol as we arrived at the staging area...

The runners were all properly welcomed with a photo opportunity in front of the Washington Monument ...


Which, as the sun came up, turned a beautiful golden color ...

After checking in and receiving our color-coded volunteer identification shirts, we had about an hour and a half before we had to do anything, so we decided to walk down to the Tidal Basin and look at the famous cherry blossoms ...

This is a view across the basin toward the Jefferson Memorial ...

And this is a view across the basin toward the Jefferson Memorial with me in the way ...

We weren't the only volunteers who didn't have too much to do before most of the participants arrived ...
We walked back to our assigned area, which was the assembly area for the runners in the "blue wave." There were six color-coded assembly areas for the "waves" of runners: the fastest and most experienced runners started in the first wave, followed by the next-fastest, and so on down to the last wave, the walkers. Each wave contained as many as 2,000 runners. It was quite chilly early in the morning, and people had all sorts of ways of trying to stay warm before the race ...

The first group of runners, the elite women, started at 7:30, and the rest of the waves of runners started ten minutes later, with the waves launching at three-minute intervals.


By shortly after 8:00, all the runners were underway, and the volunteers whose assignments were at the starting point helped pick up some of the debris from the roadway to avoid injury to the runners as they returned to cross the finish line.

And then we were done.

It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, warm day, perfect for the race. The cherry blossoms were near their peak of beauty, and a good time was had by all.

Except for that part about getting up at 4:00 AM on a Sunday, for crying out loud.

Hope you have a good Sunday, too.

More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

8 comments:

michelle said...

great pictures! i had two friends that ran the race... seems like a great day!

John said...

The morning sky often offers those beautiful scenes that so few people get to enjoy.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Thanks for volunteering! It was a beautiful day and a great race

Mike said...

We're used to seeing posts from you in the early AM. How come you didn't post this before you left?

Bilbo said...

Michelle - I probably saw your friends...they were the ones wearing running clothes, right?

John - one of the reasons I love the early morning!

Jim - no problem!

Mike - sorry. The time machine was broken.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Beautiful blossoms :)

KKTSews said...

It is magical when the cherry blossoms actually are at their best during the festival. Nice of Mother Nature to cooperate this year.