Getting to the Race

In 2019 the Staging Area for the 10 mile will return to the 15th St. side of the Washington Monument Grounds. The exact location will be determined by whatever construction projects are taking place in the area and by restrictions of the Washington Monument grounds. The exact location will be noted here once the determination is made.

Due to exorbitant fees being charged by Metro and shortened hours for early opening on race day (please express your displeasure directly to WMATA), Metro Service will not be available on race day. 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 8:00 A.M. on Sunday, April 7. Runners are encouraged to plan alternative arrangements for getting to the race. (Metro now opens at 8 A.M. on Sundays, making it extremely unlikely that 5K runners can take Metro to the start either). 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 in advance with ParkMobile by clicking HERE. This will guarantee your spot for all of your Credit Union Cherry Blossom events, including:
  2. The Ronald Reagan Building parking lot is open 24/7  and is very close to the race site:  The cost is $15 on the weekend. Note: This lot has a security check point for car entry, as well as re-entry into the building. Be aware of this because it may mean that it will take a little more time than you had planned on.
  3. Here is a link to a map that 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.,38.8215,-76.8781,38.9662
  4. Here is link to some general parking information in DC:
  5. Use Uber or Lyft.  To ease congestion, we ask that people coming from Maryland or DC program in "17th and Constitution Ave., NW" as their destination. People coming from the south (Virginia) should program in 17th and Independence Ave., SW. ( Please note that 15th St. will be closed between Constitution Ave. and Independence Ave. starting at 1 A.M. on Sunday, April 8.) Other streets on the course will start to shut down at 7:00 a.m. So, please plan to arrive early.
  6. Plan to bikeTwo Wheel Valet will provide a bike valet service on race day near the UPS baggage trucks on Constitution Ave. You may drop off your bike starting at 6:00 A.M. and retrieve it after the race, or leave it and enjoy the cherry blossoms, then retrieve it later in the morning. This service is free to participants. NOTE: The bike parking area will close at 11:30 a.m. on race day, April 7, 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 the bag check area on race morning.
  7. WMATA has an app and trip planner. If you plan to bus:

Cherry Blossom season is Washington, DCs biggest tourist time of the year. So plan on arriving 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 did 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 will probably not be able to use the Metro to get to the 5K start. Metro Rail opens at 8:00 A.M. on Sunday, April 7 and the 5K Run-Walk starts at 9:00 A.M., making using the Metro to get to the race almost impossible. Consult the Metro website for scheduling details at

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), 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 9:00 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 down 17th St. 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 8:30 A.M. The 5K Run-Walk starts at 9:00 A.M.