Getting to the Race

The staging area for the 10 mile is on the Washington Monument Grounds near the intersection of 15th and Constitution Ave., NW. The starting line is at the instersection of 15th St. and Jefferson Dr., SW. 15th St. between Constitution Ave., NW and Independence Ave., SW will be closed between 1:00 A.M. an 12 noon on Sunday April 2.

Due to Metro's "SafeTrack" program, all early morning openings for Washington, DC's Metro subway have been cancelled. This means Metro transportation to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile and 5K Run Walk will not be available between 5:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M. on Sunday, April 2. (Metro might be available for going to the 5K; see below for details). Metro will be available for returning from the race.

Below are some suggestions on how to get to the race. During Cherry Blossom season, parking is always at a premium. We suggest that you arrive early.

  1. Reserve a parking spot with SpotHero. SpotHero is working with parking lots to have them open at 5 A.M. on race morning. Click Here to reserve a parking spot on SpotHero.
  2. This map shows all of the metered DC parking in the city. Please note that meter parking is controlled by the city and this can change at any time.
    https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=1dbea9c53160437ca72aedb9faf249bf&extent=-77.1602,38.8215,-76.8781,38.9662
  3. General parking information in DC:  http://dcparking.org/dc-street-parking/ Roads that will be closed for the race itself: http://www.cherryblossom.org/images/2012/12RoadClosureMapFinal-022912.pdf. No parking will be available on any of these streets.
  4. The Ronald Reagan Building parking lot is open 24 hours and is very close to the race site:  http://itcdc.com/parking/
  5. For those using Uber or Lyft (or having someone drop you off): To ease congestion, we ask that people coming from the north or west from Arlington, VA; Montgomery County MD; or NW, DC program in "15th and Constitution Ave., NW" as their destination. People coming from the south (Virginia) via I-395 and east (Capitol Hill, DC) should program in “14th and Madison Dr., NW.” 15th St. will be closed between Constitution Ave. and Independence Ave. starting at 1 A.M. on Sunday, April 2. Other streets on the course will start to shut down at 7:00 A.M. Please plan to arrive early.
  6. Plan to bike – We are planning to increase the size of our bike valet service this year. The bike valet will be near the intersection of 15th and Independence Ave., NW.
  7. If taking Metro Bus - WMATA has an app and trip planner. If you plan to bus: https://www.wmata.com/schedules/timetables/index.cfm

Even with the cherry blossoms diminished due to the below freezing temperatures in mid-March and past their peak, Cherry Blossom season is Washington, DC.s biggest tourist time of the year. So plan on arrving early! Remember that Metro will be open for your return trip home.


Why Can't We Move the Starting Time Later?

Many people have asked why we cannot move our 7:30 A.M. starting time later like the Marine Corps Marathon did in 2016 and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon are doing in 2017. (Note that the 7:00 A.M. starting time of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon was not moved; the half marathon time could be moved up to 8:30 A.M. because the streets are permitted to be closed for the entire marathon  -- so the half marathon can start later and still finish before the streets reopen after the marathon.) We, however, are under stringent time regulations set by the National Park Service because our event takes place in the heart of the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the time of expected peak bloom of the cherry blossoms, which is one of the city's busiest tourism periods of the year. The needs of our runners need to be balanced with the needs of hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world who want to visit the Memorials during this special time of year.

Getting to the 5K Starting Area

The 5K Run-Walk staging area and start-finish line are located on Independence Ave., SW about 200 yards west of the intersection of 15th and Independence Ave., SW. It is on "the other side" of the Washington Monument from the 10 Mile staging area and "around the corner" from the 10 mile start-finish line. Signs will direct 5K Run-Walk participants in the 10 mile staging area to the 5K Run-Walk staging area.

5K Run-Walk participants may be able to use the Metro to get to the 5K start. Metro Rail opens at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 2 and the 5K Run-Walk starts at 8:40 a.m., making using the Metro an option. However, be aware that Metro will be operating on a reduced Sunday schedule so you should make sure you are on one of the earliest trains (right at 7:00 a.m.) on race morning in order to make sure you don't miss the start. Consult the Metro website for scheduling details at https://www.wmata.com/schedules/timetables/index.cfm

Getting to the starting line of the 5K Run-Walk will take a bit of planning and timing.

If you are approaching the Washington Monument Grounds from the East (that's the side where the Smithsonian Metro stop is located) upon reaching the top of the Metro escalator, turn and walk toward the Washington Monument. Bear to the left as you approach the Monument (the ten milers will be heading to the right) and head towards the intersection of 15th and Independence Ave. This is where you want to cross 15th St. to reach the 5K Run-Walk start on Independence Ave. near the Sylvan Theater.

Prior to the start of the 10 mile at 7:30 A.M. you will be able to cross this intersection without delay (except for a brief pause while our 40 elite women start at 7:18 A.M.). Once the first wave of the 10 mile starts at 7:30 A.M. through the final wave at 8:00 A.M., you will be able to cross only during the short gaps between each wave of the ten mile. Uniformed US Park Police officers and marshals will "open and close" this intersection in between the waves for the safety of our 5K Run-Walkersto-be and our 10 milers heading out. There will only be about 10 minutes between when the last 10 miler heads out and when the top 10 milers return between about 8:00 a.m and 8:10 a.m. After 8:10 a.m., U.S.. Park Police officers and volunteers will continue to allow 5K participants to cross during gaps in the flow of the 10 milers. However once the stream of finishers becomes more dense, these opportunities will diminish. If you want to avoid the wait, you can head north on 15th St. toward Constitution Ave. and cross over between Madison Dr. and Constitution Ave. and circle around the Washington Monument on the Lincoln Memorial side. We cannot delay the start of the 5K Run-Walk from the 8:40 A.M. start for runners who have not been able to cross 15th St.

If you are approaching from the north (White House side) or west (Lincoln Memorial side), you can head to the 10 mile staging area on the Constitution Ave. side of the Washington Monument and look for signs pointing you toward the 5K Run-Walk start.

If you are approaching from the south (Tidal Basin side) head towards 15th and Independence Ave.

Confused? The various limitations put upon us because it's Cherry Blossom season, and the layout of the roadways near the magnificent Washington Monument Grounds, make direct access to the 5K staging area a bit challenging. The bottom line is it Is best to make sure you are at the start line of the 5K Run-Walk before 8:10 A.M. The 5K Run-Walk starts at 8:40 A.M.