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Download the app- This is a new but welcomed addition to the race. The free Credit Union Cherry Blossom smartphone app for iPhone, iPad and Android offers bib lookup (trust me, this will be save you a few minutes at the expo), key race information, and provides results after completing the race. For a .99 upgrade, the app offers live GPS tracking, audio cheer clips and proximity alerts to help find family and friends before or after the race.
Take Public Transportation or Bike. Closest metros are Federal Triangle or the Smithsonian and WMATA will open its doors at 5 a.m. to get you to the starting line in time. There are plenty of spots to lock up a bike as well.
There will be 259 porta potties. But as with any race, get in line earlier rather than later.
Don’t let the morning cold fool you. You should think twice about wearing that long-sleeve shirt. Depending on the weather, that extra layer may drag you down when the sun starts to beat on you during the last few miles in Haines Point.
Don’t miss the morning warm-up. Gold’s Gym leads a free warm-up that gets the blood flowing and adrenaline pumping. Or at the very least, provides you with some entertainment to keep your nerves calm.
Plan a meeting spot in advance. The finish area turns into a huge cluster very quickly. I usually scope out the grounds before starting the race and tell my friends and family where the best banner or landmark is to meet for after.
Enjoy the flat course but be ready for the finish. This course is designed to be fast. Take advantage of that but also be ready for a slight up-hill near the end after you pass the Jefferson Memorial.
Grab some Larabars, bananas, water and Gatorade at the finish. But don’t expect any muffins like years past. “We’ve been doing muffins for so many years, I’m not sure our volunteers can look at muffins anymore,” says Becky Lambros, Deputy Race Director.
Go Green. Don’t forget to recycle your b-tags on the back of your number. Lambros says there will be recycling stations in various locations but runners may have to walk a little ways to utilize the stations. “We’re hoping the runners will support us in this greening effort and make those few extra steps to go to recycling stations,” Lambros says.
Grab a heat sheet to stay warm at the finish. Even if you don’t think you need it right away, it’s still a good idea to grab one in case you get a little chilly after standing around for a few minutes. And when you’re done with it, Lambros says there will be plenty of volunteers walking around with bags to collect them.