SPOKANE-- The day before the 36th annual Bloomsday Run, athletes from all over the world celebrated their arrival in Spokane before the elite competition.
Bloomsday organizers host various events downtown for the runners, which is one of the reasons they say they love the competition.
“I got to talk to some kids. That is really great for me. I love kids and I used to teach pre-school,” runner Janet Cherobon-Bawcom said.
The runners sat down to a breakfast Saturday morning at the Double Tree Hotel before other scheduled activities throughout the day.
The runners admit the prize money is a big draw. Almost $20,000 will be divided among the top five finishers. They say, though, the community and opportunities in Spokane encourage them to travel from around the globe.
“I love Spokane for the trails and the people. Running’s a really big deal, and you get that sense when you’re in town,” runner Joseph Gray said.
As for the course itself, many racers say they enjoy how it stands out from other competitions because of the drops and climbs they must run. Most of them name Doomsday Hill as the biggest challenge and say it makes them rethink their whole strategy for competing.