Roads reopen after annual Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

A dry sunny start for Sunday's run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
A dry sunny start for Sunday’s run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

Runners are passing cherry blossoms in full bloom. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Runners are passing cherry blossoms in full bloom. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

 Crowds at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Crowds at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

Crowds gather for the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Crowds at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

WTOP’s Sarah Beth Hensley took on the challenge. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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A dry sunny start for Sunday's run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Runners are passing cherry blossoms in full bloom. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
 Crowds at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Crowds gather for the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

WASHINGTON — The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run hosted thousands of participants around the Tidal Basin, causing crowds and road closures Sunday morning.

The race began at 7:30 a.m., though road closures started as early as 1 a.m.

The ten-miler saw six waves of 2,500 runners, in five to 10 minute intervals between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the run’s website. The site also included a map of the course.

The top ten overall finishers walked away with a total of more than $40,000 in prize money.

Due to the high volume of tourists around the Tidal Basin this time of year, the run’s course only stayed open for two hours and 20 minutes. Roads reopened just before 11 a.m.

Forecasts on Saturday threatened to damage the blooms, but runners, spectators and tourists alike will be able to enjoy beautiful blooms on Sunday.

The cold temperatures didn’t dampen spirits among runners.

“It’s a little bit cold today but we are excited to be here,” said runner Emily Lloyd.

The National Park Service announced that the blooms are in a condition to stay on the trees since the forecast did not materialize Saturday and temperatures stayed well below average.

“Twenty-seven degrees is the threshold where you’ll start to see damage to the blossoms and some of them being killed off,” said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Park Service.

Saturday’s high reached 66 degrees and the low dipped to 41 degrees.

Under ideal conditions, the trees can hold their blossoms for up to two weeks, according to the National Park Service.

For navigating traffic and crowds, there are several options for getting around.

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