Five Ten Mile Races In Washington D.C.

If you read my race recaps, you can tell that my favorite race distance is the ten miler. I know many people prefer half marathons, but I think they are about 5K too long!

Ten Milers In Washington
Lucky for me, there a lot of great 10 milers in the Washington, D.C. area, and they are scheduled just far enough apart so I can do all five of them.

1. Reston 10 Miler. The first race on my 2016 calendar is the Reston 10 Miler in Reston, Virginia, on March 6. It was a little snowy last year, but I finished in time to get home before the roads got too bad–although I did get stuck behind a row of snowplows.

Reston 10 Miler Medal

What I like about this race: This is a relatively small, low-key race, which is rare for 10 milers. It starts and ends at a high school with plenty of parking (and indoor bathrooms!) and you can pick up your race bib the morning of the race. The event is well-organized, supports the high school’s track and field program, and the pictures are free.
What I don’t like about this race: Reston is a solid 45 minutes from my house, off a toll road. It’s an easy drive, but mentally feels like it’s really far away.
Why I keep signing up: I really like the course, which is a loop that runs through pretty neighborhoods with rolling hills.

2. Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run: The next race on my calendar is the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 3. This is the third year that I’ve been part of their social media team, and it’s so much fun to support such a classic D.C. event.

CUCB 2015 Finish

What I like about this race: The cherry blossoms aren’t always in bloom on race weekend, but when they are (like last year), it is spectacular. The race starts and ends at the Washington Monument, and has the flattest course around. The event supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which I am happy to support with my own fundraising efforts.
What I don’t like about this race: Hains Point.
Why I keep signing up: This race shows off a lot of what is great about Washington, D.C.–the monuments, the cherry blossoms, the lovely spring weather–and there is something so moving about hearing the National Anthem while standing in the shadow of the Washington Monument.

3. The George Washington Parkway Classic: Sometimes the George Washington Parkway Classic and Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run are on the same day, or back-to-back weekends, but this year they are a few weeks apart, with the GWPC being on April 24. My very first race was the 5K of this event, so it always will have special meaning to me. 

What I like about this race: The course is a point-to-point route along the G.W. Parkway from Mt. Vernon Estate to Old Town, in Alexandria, Virginia. The first few miles have rolling hills, but the course flattens out after that, except for one cruel hill at mile 9. This race is growing in popularity, but still has a low-key vibe. For the past few years, Port City has been sponsoring the beer tent.  
What I don’t like about this race: The flat stretch from miles 6-8 is always challenging.
Why I keep signing up: Since this was my first race, I think of it as “my” race. 

4, The Reston Perfect Ten. Fast-forward to September 26, when my next ten miler is the Reston Perfect Ten. This is the same course as the Reston Ten Miler, but it’s nice enough to run twice in one year. 

Reston Perfect Ten

5. The Army Ten Miler. My last ten miler of the year is the Army Ten Miler, on October 6. When I started running in 2001, the Army Ten Miler was going to be my first ten mile race, but it was cancelled after 9/11. 

Army Ten Miler Wounded Warrior

What I like about this race: The energy of the Army Ten Miler is amazing. While there are plenty of civilians like me, you are likely to be lining up with servicemen and women from all branches of the military, and you may find yourself running with wounded warriors who embody determination, dedication and perseverance.  
What I don’t like about this race: The 14th Street Bridge, and the logistics. Packet pick-up is at the D.C. Armory, which is not easy to get to, and parking near the race start can get tricky unless you arrive really early and beat the other 29,999 runners.  
Why I keep signing up: ????? I come close to not signing up for this race every year, but after eight years, I think it’s earned a permanent spot in my race calendar. 

I’m joining the Friday Five link up at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up for What!  

What is your favorite race distance? 

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21 Responses to Five Ten Mile Races In Washington D.C.

  1. I have such a hard time with the 10 mile distance! I’m out of town for a few of these races, including the GW Parkway Classic which I was really hoping to tackle this year!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Friday Five: How a Runner Prepares for a Blizzard!My Profile

  2. Sherry says:

    That’s cool you have a lot of 10 milers near you! I had fun running the Cherry Blossom Race in 2013. I would love to run another race in DC!
    Sherry recently posted…Five Great Running and Motivational QuotesMy Profile

  3. I really like the 10 mile distance. You have me thinking about the Army 10 miler now!

  4. Pam says:

    I am a fan of the 10 mile distance but have only done one at WDW and that was the Tower of Terror race at night that is now gone forever! I may need to think about all the options in DC, it would be fun to try one of those, especially the cherry blossom race.
    Pam recently posted…5 Reasons to run the Great Wall MarathonMy Profile

  5. Great list! I actually kinda agree. No matter how much I train for 13.1, I always crap out at mile 10. I’ve only done one 10 mile race but it really is a great distance! I really want to do the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Parkway classic in 2017. I’ll be thinking about the Army 10 miler for this year.
    Sam @ See Sam Run recently posted…5 Inspiring RunnersMy Profile

  6. My favorite distance is the 10 miler! There aren’t very many around here, tho.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…5 new songs that will ROCK YOUR RUN!My Profile

  7. Darlene says:

    I think I need to move. Mostly 5ks where I live.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five: Why 13.1?My Profile

  8. I think the 10 mile distance is my favorite (outside of the marathon, but that’s a whole different beast). I love 10 milers and am so pumped to be doing Cherry Blossom again!
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…Five Tips to Stay Healthy During Cold SeasonMy Profile

  9. Chaitali says:

    Ooh, I haven’t tried any of these and I really want to. I’ll probably need a ten mile training run and the time of the Army 10 miler anyway… I might look into that one.
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday 5 – things I’m doing during the snow stormMy Profile

  10. Great list. I’ll be doing the Cherry Blossom this year. Excited to run it again (it will be my second time). I’ve heard of the other ones except #3, but haven’t run any others of them yet.
    John @ run. geek. run(disney) recently posted…Five Reasons to Own 2XU HYOPTIK Thermal Compression Tights | #FridayFiveMy Profile

  11. Kylie McGraw says:

    I love this list! I didn’t make it into the Cherry Blossom lottery this year so I’m hoping to pick up a bib before race day 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t a fan of Hains Point! I’m still trying to plan my race calendar for the year and I like these options!

  12. I am so excited to be running CB this year. I’ve never done the Reston 10 so I may throw that in also if I am feeling good. Will let you know!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Loving Lately-JanuaryMy Profile

  13. WOW!!! I never knew there were so many 10 milers in the area!!!

    Thanks for the info….let me see which on I will add to my calendar this year 😉
    Tamieka@fitballingrunningmom recently posted…Preparation towards the 21 day resetMy Profile

  14. You know I’m very jelly of all the great 10-milers you have in DC! I love this distance too – wish race directors around here would support 10-milers instead of always defaulting to the half marathon.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Five Tips for Staying Motivated for Winter RunningMy Profile

  15. The 10 miler is actually one of my favorite distances!! I think i’ve done all of these except for the Perfect 10!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Weekly Wrap: Mediocre runs and a savings planMy Profile

  16. What a great collection of runs! I think I would be a fan of the 10 mile distance too, I am going to watch for one in my area 🙂
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Over the Hump with Hemp Heart Bars !My Profile

  17. Lauren says:

    I think 10 miles in the perfect distance! I have always wanted to do the Cherry Blossom 10 miler…hopefully this year I can get down there!
    Lauren recently posted…Quality Speed IntervalsMy Profile

  18. I have never done a 10 mile race. It seems like it would be a good distance for me since I always start to get tired around that distance when running a half marathon. Maybe this year will be the year that I sign up for that distance.
    Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted…Friday Five: My Home Gym Equipment Wish ListMy Profile

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