April 11, 2010

DC's Allergy Celebration

In 1912, the major of Tokyo gave the city of Washington, DC, a gift of Japanese cherry trees. These trees were primarily planted around the Tidal Basin. As flowering trees, they have a period of a couple weeks during the Spring when they bloom and are absolutely beautiful (as well as wreaking havoc on the allergies of everyone in the DC area). To commemorate the Japanese gift and celebrate the beautiful blooming, DC holds the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Along with the festival, each year there is a 10-mile running race. So many people want to run the race, that now you have to enter your name in a lottery and hope you get selected to participate. Though I put my name in, I didn't get picked. A couple of my friends did, however, so I went to support them and cheer them on. We were up bright and early to metro in to the start line:I made a sign and kept an eye for Jess and Rich, who were on pretty similar pace, but just a few mins apart in total. And yes, I asked another spectator to take this picture of me cheering:After finishing in a solid time of 1:20:30 (that's 8:03/mile pace), Jess still looked fresh and had the energy to do some posing:Here's the whole crew (minus me, the photographer). Most here are runners, except for Michelle and Lauren on the right who were fans like me:Rich and his ladies. I think this is the longest race he's ever run, and he did great with a time of 1:24:33 (8:28/mile pace). Congratulations, Rich!

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