Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 race has to become virtual due to additional COVID-19 restrictions?

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?

Questions on Registration and Lottery Notification

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

A: Prospective entrants will be able to register for the lottery during a 12-day period starting on Tuesday, December 1 and extending through 11:59 P.M. on Saturday, December 12 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 yet to be determined but will be posted here as soon as they become available. (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-January 2021. The Kids’ Run is limited to 500 entrants.)

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. See http://www.cherryblossom.org/generalinfo/teamcompete.php 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 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.

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 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

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. 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 April. Can I get a refund?

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. Of course if the race has to be cancelled due to increased COVID-19 restrictions, you will have the option of getting a refund.

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 February.

Race Cancellation Due to COVID-19

Q: What if the race has to become virtual due to additional COVID-19 restrictions?

A: A number of individuals deferred their 2020 entry to 2021 when the 2020 race had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. If the race has to be cancelled again in 2021 and again become a Virtual Race, all individuals who deferred from the 2020 race and entered the 2021 race with a Guaranteed Entry Link will be automatically deferred to the 2022 race and will receive a Guaranteed Entry Link again for 2022. In addition, they will also have the same options for the 2021 race as those accepted through the 2021 lottery as outlined below.

If COVID-19 forces us to cancel the race after registration has begun, all runners accepted into the 2021 race - either by deferral or through the lottery - will have three options:

  • A full refund of your entry fee of $50 for the ten mile and $40 for the 5K Run-Walk (with options to have your shirt and medal ordered shipped to you for $10, or available for pick-up at the race office, warehouse or at select Potomac River Running locations).
  • Direct transfer of your entry into the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Virtual Run with shirts and medals mailed at no additional charge. As a note, the Virtual Run will be open to registrants who did not register for the in-person Ten Mile or 5K Run-Walk as well. The Virtual Run entry fee will be $40, which will include having a t-shirt and a medal shipped to participants.
  • Donation of your entry fee to Children's Miracle Network and free shipping of any medals or shirts ordered.

We are investigating the possibility of moving the race to the fall. Should that become possible, we will revisit the options for deferrals at that time.

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, April 9 from 3 PM – 8 PM and Saturday, April 10 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.