SPOKANE, Wash. – Tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown Spokane Sunday to participate in the 41st annual Lilac Bloomsday Run.
The 7.46-mile run has taken place every first Sunday of May since Don Kardong founded the race in 1977.
According to the Bloomsday website, Kardong chose the name Bloomsday, which is a joining of the lilac, Spokane’s favorite flower, and the day of events in James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses.” Kardong believes a road race is an odyssey. “Ulysses” details one day in the life of Leopold Bloom, who spends the time walking the streets of Dublin in a parallel of his Greek counterpart Ulysses. Scholars call that day “Bloomsday.” Hence, the Lilac Bloomsday Run was named!
Bloomsday’s course takes runners through several Spokane neighborhoods including downtown Spokane, Browne’s Addition and Peaceful Valley. Runners get to enjoy scenic views as they run along the river, across the T.J. Meenach Bridge, past Spokane Falls Community College and up the notorious “Doomsday Hill.”
Runners of all skill levels are encouraged to participate in Bloomsday. The day begins with elite wheelchair athletes, then the men's and women's elite runners.
Women's elite runners cruising through Browne's. pic.twitter.com/oMEaCDB5Ki— Darnay Tripp (@DarnayTripp) May 7, 2017
At 9:00 a.m., all other race participants, runners and walkers included, set off on the 12K journey.