Saturday, April 9, 2016

Race Recap: 2016 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

Wilson Komen running in the 2016 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler
Wilson Komen runs in the 2016 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler
As I was preparing for my ninth Cherry Blossom Ten Miler race, early in the morning on Sunday, April 3, 2016, I was getting ready for difficult conditions. It was very windy and very cold on that day.

In many ways, the Cherry Blossom is my home race; the start at the Washington Monument is only one mile away from my house. Therefore, as always, I jogged to the start as part of my warm-up.

Given the unseasonably cold conditions, the race organizers made a series of adjustments to the event itself, including starting all of the runners, including the elite women, at the same time.

My goal for the day was simply to enjoy the race, not to strive for a new PR. As runners always do in windy races, I made sure to run large sections of the race in a group, using the other runners as shields against the wind. This is a common strategy that I recommend all runners practice when they are racing.

Wilson Komen leading a pack of runners on Hains Point
Wilson Komen, center, leading a cluster of runners on Hains Point
Heading out, the wind was particularly tough on the Memorial Bridge at mile 2. After that point, we did have a small tail wind by the third mile at the Kennedy Center. The rest of the race progressed similarly, with alternating head and tail winds, depending on the direction we were running. At the very least, it was sunny, which helped keep the temperature closer to mild than it would have otherwise been.

As I came down the home stretch, I ran into some of my friendly rivals, Philippe Rolly and Michael Wardian. I have been running this race with them since 2004. The two of them, along with an energetic, cheering crowd, gave me a boost of energy, and they all made the race more enjoyable, despite the cold. I finished the race in a time of 55:11, and I was happy with that performance.

After I crossed the finish line, I briefly chatted with some of my trainees. I also had the opportunity to talk briefly with Meb Keflezighi. He was very generous with his time, spending lots of it signing autographs and posing for pictures with the race finishers. He really is a great guy, and he is a personal inspiration for me and for many other runners.

Runners waiting for pictures and autographs with Meb Keflezighi
A group of runners waits for pictures and autographs with Meb Keflezighi
Thank you to all of the spectators who came out in the cold to cheer for us.

Also, I wish all of the runners who are competing in next week’s Boston marathon good luck.

picture of Coach Wilson Komen with Meb Keflezighi
Wilson Komen, left, with Meb Keflezighi, right

No comments:

Post a Comment