A morning traffic accident and resulting crime scene near the Kutz Bridge forced the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to cut roughly .61 miles from the course.
U.S. Park Police Sgt. Lelani Woods said the accident happened at 5:52 a.m., when a man on a motorcycle heading east on Independence Avenue struck a woman who was crossing the road near the bridge, away from a crosswalk. Woods said that portion of Independence Avenue, along with others in the area, were already closed in preparation for the race. The pedestrian, an “older woman” was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where she died April 21. Charges against the driver are pending.
Less than 90 minutes after the accident, the elite women’s race started on time, followed by the rest of the race field.
Race Director Phil Stewart said that once the crew in the race’s unified command heard about the accident, it was apparent that rerouting the course down West Basin Drive, past the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, back onto Ohio Drive and over Inlet Bridge, was the best contingency to keep the race going.
The altered distance was announced before the elite women’s advanced start.
“If the accident had to happen, it happened in a place where it was relatively easy to adjust,” he said. “There could have been places where it had happened and it would have been more difficult.
We knew it would be a little short, but it would enable to preserve 9.5 miles.”
Runners’ splits could be trusted up until the four mile mark and beyond the six mile mark. The redirection eliminated the lap around the Tidal Basin, past the Jefferson Memorial.
“Based on times runners had hit previously, we figure it was about a half a mile,” Stewart said. “The times are the times, but we’ll project their times to give people a sense of what they would have run had they finished 10 miles.”
An added wrinkle for organizers was managing the departure of the final waves of runners, versus the arrival of the first female finishers. That time, Stewart said was typically nine minutes, so the expected loss of less than three minutes would not be onerous, but it was enough to try to create some space for runners to finish.
“There was a lot of pent-up anticipation for Spring, so people had invested a lot in the event,” Stewart said.
Divided lanes coming to Hains Point, safety measures in the works for the Mount Vernon Trail, three locals make national high school XC meet, local collegians race at NCAAs.
St. Albans and GVS’s Vivian Kelly won their first DC cross country titles while St. Johns’ girls and St. Albans’ Pierre Attiogbe repeated.
Beach Drive remains closed to through traffic year-round, locals win conference, USATF titles.
Capt. Kyle King won the Marine Corps Marathon, a year after he planned to make his debut at the race, and Chelsea Baker of the British Royal Navy made tremendous strides winning the women’s race.
Born in 1984 as the George Washington Parkway Classic, it is among the most scenic and spacious distance races on the East Coast. From the serene beauty of our spacious course meandering through the finest spring bloom in the DC